The rationale for "engaging" staff in the change process is that if they do not know the reasons for the change, and consequently what changes are expected of them, they cannot change in a rational way. Uninformed staff can merely react - and this can take a negative form.
There are many reasons for organisational change:
- Strategic change
- Structural change
- Cultural change
- New technology change
- Merger and acquisition change
- Break-up and spin-off change
- Downsizing change
- Expansion change
Senior managers facing such changes are asking their staff to join them in a collective leap into the corporate abyss. The depth of resistance bears a direct correlation to the scope and intensity of the change at hand.
The initial responses evoked by change typically are instability, stress and uncertainty. These reactions can pose enormous problems to management as these responses are closely linked to power, anxiety and control.
The Keil Centre provides an understanding of the psychological factors involved in organisational and personal change. Some changes require an approach from senior management which is akin to a political campaign to "win hearts and minds" of staff. In such situations we can, for example, aid senior managers in the change process by helping them to:
- gauge the depth of resistance that they can anticipate from their staff
- identify key support groups within the organisation who could help form favourable opinions
- guide "leaders" in their choice of behaviour to create support. At times of change every behaviour becomes a "signal " to staff
- identify the motivation factors to achieving change, build participation in planning and implementing of change
- consider how to reward behaviour which supports change