May 27, 2020
So many people I’ve spoken to are avoiding the news, some to the point of staying away from social media as well. Too much happening, too many opinions, too much change.
We’re now living in a world where, for some of us, our homes have become ours or our family’s places of work and school as well as a refuge. Parts of our lives that were neatly separated have spilled into each other, creating stress.
People are protesting, they want to go back to work. They want to go out in public. They want to get haircuts. This is classic change fatigue.
Still, wanted or not, change has come and is here to stay. So, what comes next?
What to Expect
First and foremost, even when we’re not dealing with change within a workplace, change on a global scale will still effect organizations. Normally, when change is not dealt with you will see project failure. In this case, when change isn’t dealt with we’re seeing productivity decline.
The impact caused by organizations also needing to constantly adapt and respond with their own internal changes, doesn’t lend well to success.
86% of Canadians and 81% of Americans polled by Leger are concerned that there will be a second wave of Covid this autumn, with medical experts backing up those concerns. Meaning what we can expect is a continued need for businesses to build their capability to cope with change.
Only 38% of employees are comfortable going back to work after Covid measures have been lifted. The knock on implications of this being that many organizations will have to prepare and adapt for either measures that will make employees feel safer at work, or allow them to work from home more often. This could mean changes to policy, technology, entire departments, leadership, etc.
In order to prepare for change, particularly when there are a lot of unknowns involved, structure is incredibly important. Late last year WCI put out an eBook about organizational change and change capacity. At a glance, it discusses Change Management Offices (CMOs) and their role in stabilizing organizations dealing with change.
Although they traditionally help deal with transformation initiatives, they are also ideal for providing structure during a crisis or any type of change.
How do they help?
- Increased transparency and visibility in terms of initiative and portfolio management
- Provide full assessment of employee capacity and capabilities to manage change
- Evolve employee capacity and capabilities to manage change
- Clearly define plans and practices
- Enable better cost management and planning
- Minimize disruption and risks
Avoiding change in our personal lives has varied impacts. We can’t expect to tune it out in the workplace and still achieve success. What’s coming next is more change, and engagement and communication, along with preparation is what’s needed to survive it.
- Don’t turn away from what both your leadership and your employees are facing
- Communicate with employees frequently and clearly
- Be consistent with messages and goals
- Give employees and leadership the time and resources they need
- Make sure communication being sent and received is understood across every level of your organization
While we have a lot of thought leadership available through the WCI website, we always welcome anyone needing or wanting to talk about how change is effecting their business. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss what comes next for your organization.