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Annie Hayes

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Employees are sick of change

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Change is happening in almost every organisation and the pace and frequency is hitting employees hard with levels of sickness soaring.

Eighty-nine per cent of managers say they have experienced some form of organisational change in recent months which has resulted in a whopping 60 per cent reporting an increase in illness rates over the past year.

Over half (58 per cent) said they are unproductive for at least one day each week, while only 17 per cent believe that change has increased productivity and profitability.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, authors of the research said: “The health of UK workplaces needs greater attention. With such high levels of illness being experienced, organisations and individuals must act to maintain their competitive edge. Failure to do so will lead to disruption because health clearly has an impact on performance, productivity and ultimately, the bottom line.”

One Response

  1. Sick of change. The new reality?
    Nobody likes change, at least if ‘done to us’. And yet, it is happening all around us, whether we like it or not!

    As managers, this can present quite a problem to us all – which I think is the excellent Jo Causon’s point of the CMI, at heart?

    Most of us welcome certainty, and even need it psychologically. And yet, the world is forever changing. The challenge is how to embrace this best, without of course being fooled by every short-lived fad of the month.

    Wise words I personally find helpful here that you may want to use include:

    “If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got.”
    This may be great for some, but what if ‘what we always got’ isn’t good enough? – as employees, emmployers, customers, suppliers, stakeholders, investors or just as private individuals? Did you ever meet a customer, employee, investor or supplier who didn’t want ‘more’?
    And even then, this quote isn’t quite right is it? On a business front, if we always do what we always did, someone will always find a better way and scupper us all!

    “If we want to improve, by definition we have to change something!” That quote is mine -self-evident as it is!
    I don’t know any consumer in any sector, public or private, who wouldn’t like to be better served. Do you?
    Standing still is not an option, for all we may hate change as the providers who will have to implement this! But as all of us are driven by a core survival mechanism, don’t we WANT to improve to stay in work? What are the options if we don’t?

    Finally: “If we don’t live today in the future, we will be living tomorrow in the past”. Ain’t that so? (And at what cost otherwise! Ask a few dock-workers, coal-miners, print-workers or car-manufacturers? Or type-writer manufacturers, telex-operators or plough-makers?)

    There are many great lessons for how to implement change collaboratively, healthily and productively – quite another subject in the space allowed!

    But how to change effectively is the real management challenge – without burning everyone up – not how to resist it. (Although I think I can provide lots of ideas on how to resist change too, if that is your frame of mind! But not entirely one I can truly recommend for a long, happy and fulfilled life, at work or at home? That would be *really* stressful!)

    Best wishes!

    Jeremy

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