Change Can Negatively Affect Team Productivity
If the economy has hurt your business, or if you have undergone restructuring or other changes, team productivity may be suffering as a result. Change interrupts routines. New players and new processes often breed confusion. Financial pressures and budget cuts generate stress. All of these factors can have a detrimental affect on morale, communication, teamwork and overall productivity. But when teams are able to enthusiastically embrace change, productivity rises exponentially.
in the Midst of Change
The world, the economy and business are in a constant state of change, and every organization needs to respond and adapt in order to survive.
Managers must have a vision for the future, and in leading their teams, they must develop attitudes and processes that embrace change.
At the same time, managers need to be sensitive to the ways in which change affects their employees. The rapid pace of change may be exciting for some people, but it may be worrisome for others. A changing environment can be extremely stressful - and stressed-out people tend to lose their edge.
Transitioning through Change
When difficult changes occur - such as reorganization, downsizing and rumors of job cuts - people go through changes in phases. The diagram below outlines the four primary stages of change transition:
People tend to react negatively when they first encounter change that they perceive as negative. In this initial Reaction Phase, rumors begin flying and resumes are updated as people speculate about possible dire outcomes. As the us vs. them mentality settles in, people dip into the Resistance Phase - where they will stay until they begin to explore new possibilities.
During the Exploration Phase, people discover that some of their fears will not come to pass, and things may not be as bad as they expected. The Commitment Phase is a re-commitment to the organization, to their job, and to experiencing success by staying the course.
Overcoming the Resistance Trap
The important question is "how long does it take to get everyone to the Commitment Phase?" Unfortunately, sometimes it takes far too long. Individuals and teams can easily get caught in the Resistance Trap by not quickly transitioning into Exploration of the new terrain.
Exploration and Commitment
Our embracing change workshops will serve as a catalyst in moving your teams out of resistance and into the exploration and commitment phases of change transition.
Contact us to schedule an embracing change workshop to get your entire organization committed to a common vision.
Teaching Teams How to Embrace Change
Our Embracing Change Workshops teach teams how to accept change and gain a positive perspective on the experience of change; we teach how to effectively deal with changes that have taken place and changes that may be on the way. Whether you are experiencing productivity and morale problems due to past or current changes, or you are anticipating change and want to minimize negative reactions, we can work with you to design one or more embracing change workshops to teach your managers, supervisors and employees how to stay focused on the right things.
With some clients, we conduct workshops with managers and supervisors only, providing them with training and tools for managing change within their teams. In other cases we conduct workshops across the entire organization, ensuring that everyone makes the attitude adjustments necessary for making a successful transition through the changes. Contact us for a free consultation and proposal for a program that's right for your organization.
Resetting Expectations, Reframing Change
When unexpected change happens, especially major change, most people automatically frame it as a problem. Their negative reaction to the changes are fueled by fears, resentment, cynicism and resistance. The natural tendency is to worry, and to complain and vent to anyone who is experiencing the same feelings and reactions. It doesn't take long for the negative effects of anticipated problems to spread through the organization, and take its toll on morale and productivity. Our embracing change workshops serve to reset negative expectations about the future. By reframing changes as an opportunity for solving problems and achieving a new vision, every member of your organization can move forward with a new, more positive perspective on the future.
Refocusing on a New Vision and New Goals
Prior to the embracing change workshop(s), we will work with you to define, clarify and articulate your organization's future vision and goals so that we can reinforce the vision and goals throughout the training program. It may be that you have managers, supervisors and employees who are unclear about the implications of change, and have misconceptions that are keeping them from getting traction to move forward. Our training program will help them to refocus on the right vision and the right goals. Clarity of focus helps teams to embrace a shared vision - one that has a profound effect on morale.
Focusing on Communication, Teamwork & Productivity
Beyond your specific vision for the future, your entire organization needs to be focused on improving communication, teamwork and productivity. When change occurs, communication must improve. It's not business as usual. Processes change during transition, and sometimes don't work as well as the old ways of doing things. Team members need to work together, to fine-tune new processes to ensure that balls aren't dropped or deadlines missed. During our embracing change workshops, we include group exercises that examine communication effectiveness, and focus on improving teamwork and productivity in every area where change has been implemented. This is particularly important in inter-departmental processes across the organization.
Finding the New "Cheese"
In Spencer Johnson's popular book on change, Who Moved My Cheese?, teams are encouraged to "find the new cheese." The new cheese is a metaphor for the positive opportunities and outcomes that accompany change. People tend to focus on the negative aspects of change, and often overlook these opportunities. That's why the primary purpose of our embracing change workshops is to shift the thinking, attitudes and direction of teams toward the positive opportunities and outcomes that change can deliver. The open discussions, exercises and activities your people will participate in are structured to create a fundamental shift in their mental models - about change in general, and specifically about the changes your organization is going through.
Learning to Manage the Stress of Change
Change can be a highly stressful experience, and depending on the nature of the changes your organization is experiencing, the stress levels of your employees may be at an all-time high. Stress can be a good thing when it wakes people up and motivates them to raise the bar on productivity. But too much stress can have a debilitating effect on individual and team productivity. Increased workloads, worries about job security, constant emergencies and fire-fighting all serve to ratchet up overall stress levels. When people are stressed out, they tend to make more mistakes; they are also more likely to point fingers at others, get defensive or "lose it" with coworkers and customers.
If stress levels in your organization are high, we will include stress management training as an integral part of the embracing change workshop(s). Visit our Stress Management Workshops website at www.StressManagementWorkshops.com for more information.
Ownership vs. Victimhood
Often when major change takes place, employees feel like victims. Those feelings can grow into an attitude of victimhood that results in complaining, resentment and an "us vs. them" attitude. The cure for victimhood is ownership. The central theme of our embracing change workshops is "taking ownership." When you feel victimized by problems, you are rendered powerless. Likewise, when you start taking ownership of problems around you, you find a new source of power. Our workshops are transformational, and the key to their success is building the power of ownership into managers, supervisors, employees and teams.
A Fun, Entertaining, Motivational Experience
Although the circumstances, topic and content of our embracing change workshops are very serious, we have a lot of fun. Roger Reece facilitates each workshop and uses motivational humor, stimulating group exercises and entertaining activities to make it a fun experience. If you're interested, he can even include his alter-ego, Buford P. Fuddwhacker, for an extra measure of fun. Visit www.FunMotivationalKeynoteSpeaker.com for more information about Buford Fuddwhacker.
Coaching and Follow-Up
Roger Reece is also a behavior coach, and he can structure a follow-up coaching program with your organization to ensure that your embracing change workshop is not just a one-day event. The workshop is designed to be a catalyst for lasting change in the attitudes and productivity of your people and teams. We will work with you to provide the follow-up you need to sustain positive change. We offer onsite coaching as well as telephone and Skype coaching for managers, key employees and teams. Please visit our Workplace Behavior Coaching website at www.WorkplaceBehaviorCoaching.com for more information about our coaching and follow-up programs.
There's No Time Like the Present
The effects of change happen quickly, and time is of the essence. Contact us today for pricing and detailed information about our embracing change workshops. We will work with you to structure the perfect program for your group: a program that will get your organization on track to meet its goals and build morale and teamwork in the process.