Recently, a close colleague of mine experienced a reorganisation in his Branch – nothing new, you say. These things happen all the time now in the world of work. That is true. The aspect that was amazing was how badly it was handled by the senior executive which I find quite difficult to understand.
So much has been researched and written about how to effectively manage change! There is now so much information on this topic available that it’s almost impossible to avoid reading or knowing about how to do this. In addition, it’s a key capability that should be fundamental in a leader’s tool kit. But still we hear examples of where a senior leader seemingly must have been living under a rock as the change has been handled so poorly.
In the instance of my colleague, the internal ‘process’ was indeed followed to ensure that the organisation was not in breach of any industrial agreements. And that was apparently the start and finish. What was entirely lacking, and which was also an incredible lost opportunity, was the failure of the leader in question to explain and share the vision and purpose behind the move to a new structure. In fact, much of the information was communicated via email by the EA with virtually no one-on-one communication at all.
The result? Instead of having a team that is engaged in and willing to get behind the change, it is now a team of disgruntled individuals who are scanning the job boards, feeling disrespected and wondering what the future holds.
Once employees are left to drift into this space, it requires an almighty effort on the part of senior management to bring them back. All for the lack of investing time at the outset in communicating the vision and need for the change.
So perhaps our leaders are change weary also? Is there in fact so much constant change happening that the process is resorting to one of ticking the compliance boxes and nothing more. I hope not.