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08 / Sep / 15
By Mary Obozua
Author

Making Change Look & Feel Good

Travelling is one of the many things I love to do, and like most, my annual holiday allocation is usually a cumbersome budgeting exercise of trying to squeeze in as many trips as possible.

Santorini, Greece, was an option we went with despite the proposed threats brought on by the economic and political crisis. The issues are real and the effects evident, however they were eclipsed by the beauty of the island and the passion of the locals. Their commitment to their country was endearing as they seemed to do everything possible to ensure tourists had a wonderful time. We did!

Further intrigued, I asked our excursion leader for the low-down - what was the story behind the glory of the city? She explained to me that she had recently left Athens after working for a large pharmaceutical company for a number of years. The effect of the economic crisis had forced the company to make mass redundancies overnight. She described how sudden and stressful the process was, with lack of proper communication and emotional consideration.

Faced with no job, a career in question and deep uncertainty, she had to really think about what she could do next. The choice she made was to join forces with her partner and start a business in tourism, which utilised her love and knowledge of the island as well as her previous experience. There was a good end to disastrous situation, however this was not the case for many others. 

On the way back from the excursion, I reflected on what I had heard about the pharmaceutical company’s handling of the redundancies and considered what could be learnt in hindsight.  Change isn’t easy and not all change works out positively to begin with, however there are things that can be done to make the process smoother especially if companies are concerned about their people brand image.

With sites like ‘www.Glassdoor.com’ and recruitment sites requesting feedback from current and past employees to assist job searchers with decision making, employee feedback is still king.  In this case, the feedback wasn’t complimentary at all for the pharmaceutical company in the aftermath of their actions. There was no advocacy or commitment, instead the way they had handled the situation tarnished their image.

I attended an employee engagement event recently and heard a Director say that as a company they pride themselves in being one of those companies that are open with their employees and communicate transparently, especially when the message is tough.  The communication methods and dissemination of information still involve employees, allowing them to ask questions and get answers. This was their approach to deal with change within their company.

From our work with a range of organisations in different sectors, we see regular evidence that employees are more likely to speak highly of their employer if they feel involved, able to express their views and are communicated with clearly at all times. This is even more important at times of change.   To retain ex-employees as advocates for the company after their exit is surely a measure of successful change management.

So where on the change cycle is your organisation currently? At Survey Solutions we can provide the know-how and experience so you are fully equipped. We can support you with exit surveys, employee engagement surveys and also with providing consultancy in areas such as:

  • Change Management
  • Internal Communications
  • Strategic HR
  • Organisational Development

Why not contact us today and see how we can help you?

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