People Transition – Getting the team from AS IS to the TO BE business – Martin Rafe comments
The rate of change for organisations is not going to slow down anytime soon, and indeed if anything most sectors and industries will probably speed up the rate of change in order to remain both competitive and profitable. But who is going to take such organisations forward – well of course it’s the people.
Even in knowledge of the people resistance factor leaders and managers attempt to drive headlong into a change programme through re-engineering, resizing, cultural change and more, but fail to recognise that it is a change in people behaviours that they need to address to get the results they desire – this means that organisations actually fail to engage their people to want to buy into the change, and then of course wonder why things aren’t working or are taking so long to achieve any results in some cases.
In essence leaders and managers need to get close to why people work for them, what they want and need. Call it the ‘Hertzberg’ hygiene factors if you want but I am talking about the full appreciation that a lack of buy into change will only result in resistance whether it be passive or active, but still resistance.
The most effective people transition programmes look at how managers are going to manage the ‘buy in ‘ concepts ie how they can positively manage making people to feel comfortable during what is a very uncomfortable time, because the natural and physiological reaction to change is resistance which cause delays, productivity declines, absenteeism, extra costs, inefficiencies and more – resistance has costs, it is not free.
Therefore it is vital to manage what you might see as the resistance states ie the now ‘I’m happy with stuff like it is’, the transition ‘what if it doesn’t work’ and the future ‘I’m not sure how or where I’ll be after the change’.
Importantly change resistance doesn’t just happen and organisation change managers need to develop appropriate tactics early on and ongoing to prevent employee resistance. Areas such as clear honest communications, early involvement of people in the change process and listening will all help to get people across the change bridge!