Organisational change involves expectations, but these can differ markedly from employer to employee. To stay agile, businesses must be prepared to change, and in uncertain times, employees increasingly face new challenges, requiring that they may no longer have a fixed role for an extended period.
Feeling the Impact
At a certain level, many organisations expect employees to be adaptable and to have skills in different areas, including organisational, technical, conceptual, personal and people management.
“This can make the workplace a more challenging environment, as managers are required to fulfil different roles, and may, in turn, require their staff to do likewise,” Lisa observes.
Some job changes may involve taking on new responsibilities, but there can be circumstances where a role undergoes a radical shift, which is when problems may arise.
“It can happen that individuals are taken out of one managerial environment and put into another. This can engender both insecurity and resentment, and may then affect performance”
In times of economic uncertainty, businesses may reduce their workforce while expecting employees who remain to take on additional responsibilities, but this can become an established way of structuring a company, with the expectation that employees will perpetually shift and expand their roles.
“At senior manager level, there is an increased fluidity in the roles people must take on and adapt to,” Lisa says. “What employers must do is adequately cover any gaps in training, while managing expectations. And employees must also be aware of the demands being put on them, and be ready to speak out if they feel they are not prepared for them.”
Expectations from Organisational Change
Lisa points out that communication is critical during change.
“Radical changes in jobs may occur because a company isn’t static, and is continually looking at new initiatives. In this case, it is vital that the business talks to its staff positively about this”
Similarly, where individuals face change, maintaining a positive outlook, while being prepared to ask questions about training and expectations, is key.
“Just as negativity can spread, so confidence can be contagious,” Lisa says. “Therefore, it’s up to organisations to instil confidence in their people in times of change, and to enable employees to feel confident in the roles they have to adapt to.”