Now more than ever, employees from all industries, whether virtual or physical are feeling anxiety about job security owing to the many organizational changes being implemented by their companies. According to one survey, nearly 7 in 10 employees indicated that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been the most stressful time of their entire professional career. Its human nature that we look for stability in our lives and prefer it in our work situations, therefore, employees are inclined to resist the changes in the workplace. This can be detrimental for companies implementing changes, during these times.
What can companies do to address employees' concerns?
1. Constant communication:
Keep employees informed by providing regular updates, whether through calls, emails or meetings, if possible. This communication should be ongoing; keeping employees informed throughout every step of the process. One relevant survey has found that continual communication is a leading factor in the success of any transformation process.
2. Explain the WHY and the HOW:
Companies can look at ways to inspire their employees by presenting a compelling vision for the desired future. During times of uncertainty, people experiencing change appreciate a clear view of the proposed path ahead so it's important for companies to be transparent and share their vision – why the changes are important and how it will positively affect the company in the long-term.
3. Involved in the process:
Companies can find ways to involve employees in the change process. Request feedback and engage people in the various steps. This will help build understanding, engagement and commitment. "You can't sell it outside if you can't sell it inside." Stan Slap – CEO and Founder of SLAP
4. Encourage employee wellbeing:
Set up things like groups or programs, such as fitness (yoga/aerobics), mindfulness (meditation), parent groups etc. which can encourage employees to take small breaks throughout the work day and interact with colleagues, to briefly take their mind off work and stressful topics and focus on their own wellbeing. See the blog 10 Effective Ideas to Work from Home During COVID-19 Pandemic for ways that employees can create good habits and a calm atmosphere, to help them when working from home.
So, when heading into the next period of change in the company, consider how you can inform, empower, and engage your most powerful supporters – and successfully lead your company into the future.
Life goes on!!
Be strong. Stay safe.