Managing organisational change is challenging at the best of times, however undertaking this in the midst of a global pandemic takes it to a whole new level.
You are no doubt working with leaders of the business to determine what needs to change and how and when the changes should occur. You are also likely seeing the ever-increasing amounts of data and reports that show we are not expected to come out of this any time soon.
For some industries, the global pandemic has brought about more opportunities. However, for many it means navigating change on an unimaginable scale. The impact will be felt far and wide. If you are involved in managing these changes, you too will not be immune to their impact.
When we can’t control a situation, the only thing we can control is what we do and how we act. To help you to help others, here are some considerations that will support you in assisting others through organisational change and uncertainty.
Humans first, process second
Process helps keep things on track and it helps to focus tasks. All good change needs a plan. However, we always need to remember that at the heart of these organisational changes are people. Their roles, their identity, years of service dedicated to the organisation and their livelihood are all being disrupted. When we place humans first, rather than processes, we can more adequately focus on the experience of the employee going through the change. Then we can process map and plan it all we like- but remember, humans first.
Be honest and transparent
Don’t wait until the final moment to communicate about upcoming change. There is a fine balance between not causing alarm, but also being upfront about what is happening for your organisation. Aside from the legal obligations to consult about change, being honest and transparent is respectful, honours the relationship and helps to maintain trust. And it supports our first consideration: Humans first, process second.
Make the uncertain certain- reduce stress and anxiety
Your employees will have varying degrees of tolerance for uncertainty. This may depend on their appetite for change and their personal circumstances. You can help to support their wellbeing by providing initiatives that help to reduce stress and anxiety. Be clear in your communication, and thoughtful in the support you provide. Really consider what your employees need at this time that will help to make the uncertain, certain.
Revaluate the benefits you provide employees
Employee benefits offered can vary widely across different organisations. You can review the benefits you provide through a holistic employee wellbeing lens. Ideally this should include mental, emotional, physical and financial wellbeing. Do you have support in place that caters for all aspects of wellbeing? It is important to consider offering these benefits beyond navigating the current circumstance. Looking forward, these benefits will serve to enhance your teams experience with your organisation, as well as deepen their level of engagement.
Money doesn’t have to be taboo
Financial wellbeing is all about ensuring that we are looking after our financial situation, with adequate care, attention and focus. We often learn our money lessons through role models; sometimes this works well and sometimes it doesn’t. Whilst you may not see it as your role to offer financial wellbeing support; providing these resources can make a significant positive difference, particularly when your team may be facing financial stress and hardship. Think about what you offer in this area, and what you can do to reduce the level of stress and anxiety that comes with change.
We all deserve to be better prepared for the challenges we face, both in work and in life. A good quality financial wellbeing program that can support your employees to make better financial decisions can be a key ingredient in your employee wellbeing strategy.
By Catherine Birchall, Founding Director of Money 101.
Money101 began in 2004, developing the first digital online program to help people learn the financial literacy skills that could give them control over their financial future.
Since then we have become Australia’s leading financial literacy experts, developing industry best-practice digital content for clients including banks, super funds, government, corporates and industry associations.
Our award-winning team is made up of finance professionals, educators, instructional designers, graphic artists and multimedia experts. It’s a diverse bunch, but we’ve all got one thing in common: we believe everyone should be empowered to make better financial decisions, to improve their financial wellbeing.
Our Financial Wellbeing program is designed to empower Australians to make better financial decisions, a workplace solution delivered online, anytime on any device.