In This Issue
2012 AHEN Board
Vic Rosenbaum, FACHE
Bill Sorrells, FACHE
ACHE Regent for Alaska
Vivian Echavarria, FACHE
Board of Directors
Karl Sanford, FACHE
Norm Wilder, MD, FACHE
Charlie Franz, FACHE
MAJ Stephen Williams, FACHE
Jay Gandy, MBA
Annie Holt, FACHE
NOTE: AHEN Bylaws were changed in February 2011 to allow the flexibility for new members coming from other Chapters to be able to serve on the Board.
When Change is Afoot, Help Your Staff Get On Board
Reorganizations, mergers and layoffs are facts of life in business. So are their consequences: demoralization, absenteeism and turnover. There is not much you can do about the cause, but you may reduce the side effects with these change-management strategies:
- Be prepared. When workers ask whether things will change, do not say, “I hope not,” or, “I don’t think so.” Of course, things will change. Even if the specific thing they fear never comes to pass, sooner or later something will happen to rock their world. Rather than sticking your head in the sand, suggest that workers think through how they would respond if changes occurred. They will feel more confident if they can prepare for whatever comes.
- Be realistic. Although you do not want to greet changes with fear and loathing, it is equally unhealthy to view them through rose-colored glasses. For instance, do not assume remaining workers will be doubly productive after layoffs because they are grateful to still have jobs. In all likelihood, they will be shell-shocked, resentful and less productive.
- Be open. Discuss changes with your staff and reassure them it is okay to be honest about what they are feeling. If you act like it is business as usual, workers may feel they have to suppress their emotions. By acknowledging their fear or anger, you can help them to release those feelings and adapt more quickly to their new environment.
- Be forthright. During times of change it is crucial to frequently communicate with workers. Tell them what you can as soon as you can—or else the rumor mill will take up the slack. By being honest and forthcoming, you can help allay their fears and secure their respect.
- Be creative. Solicit employee input on how best to deal with workplace changes such as the loss of key personnel or an increased workload. Working together to creatively solve any problems that arise will help your staff maintain a sense of teamwork and help them feel they are managing change, rather than falling victim to it.
—Adapted from Communication Solutions,
August 2012; (800) 878-5331; www.comsol.biz.