Managing the Effects of Change: Finding a New Direction
This is the fourth part in our series on managing change, with motivational change management speaker Mike Hourigan on change and employee fears of changes of direction.
Where Do I Go from Here?
As a keynote speaker and breakout speaker I often give sessions on change management and helping employees overcome the fears of facing new directions in their jobs, I often hear stories of valued employees, employees with many years on their jobs, terrified as to their futures.
Change management and the challenges of helping employees overcome their fears of new directions can be a major problem.
Psychologist A.J. Schuyler, Ph. D. of The University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio) identified the top 10 reasons people resist change in the work place and in their lives. Of all the reasons people fear the top two are first, the risk of change (for employees) is seen as greater than the risk of standing still and the second, employees feel connected to other people who are identified with the “old way.”
Dr. Schuyler identified what I continually address as a motivational speaker on change management: employees fear going off in new directions and they fear losing their old support network.
This was illustrated to me in real life when I recently addressed a large nursing organization on managing change and finding new direction in dynamic healthcare settings. In the breakout session a director of nursing asked if she could talk to me. Of course, I would, I love to speak to my audience members.
She explained she had been the director of nursing for a major healthcare center for more than 15 years and they were about to undergo a merger. She confided that she was fearful of the change.
“Well, won’t you still be focused on delivering the best possible patient care?” I asked.
She said she wished it was that simple. Not only was she going to undergo a shift in responsibilities, but the acquiring organization had an entirely new software platform, new purchasing and personnel procedures. In addition, she was “losing” her co-workers.
“Mike, even though I am being promoted, I feel as though nothing I have done in the past is going to be valued. They don’t care about all of the good work we did or the thousands of lives we’ve saved. I don’t know where I’m going.”
I understood what she was saying. She needed to be included in many of the discussions but to be validated as well.
Not Her Problem
Speaking on change management and on helping employees deal with new directions, I agree with many psychologists and experts in the field of change (including Dr. Schuyler) that a key problem here is a lack of communication. The director of nursing who spoke to me that day had won numerous regional and national awards. Her staff was consistently rated as one of the best in the country yet, no one in the management hierarchy took the time to educate her as to the coming changes and more than that, to value her.
Helping employees face the fear of new directions as a result of change is not only about tangibles such as the bottom line or new equipment, but the intangibles. Employees, not machines, build companies. Educate them but more than that, honor them. They will respond by honoring the organization.
View Part 1, 2 & 3 of this series of 4 change management articles:
- Change Management Speaker for Companies in Transition
- Motivational Speaker on Change and Employee Relationships
- Motivational Changs Management Speaker on Change and Employee Security
Book Mike Hourigan, Motivational Speaker on Change and Helping Employees Find Direction
for your next event. For more information on Mike Hourigan’s inspiration keynotes and breakouts, call today at: (704) 875-3030 or by filling out the form below.