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  • Writer's picturePaul

Coronavirus 10 - How do I handle the change?

I imagine many of you have been on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal today and yesterday to put into action furloughing of your staff. This is something that we could have never imagined only a few months ago. A huge change for all of us.

Nearly all of us don’t particularly like change: we have our favourite chair, our side of the bed even a favourite pair of socks. Change of course is inevitable, but with the speed of change that is currently happening it is similar to experiencing grief. People are on furlough, staff may be working less hours, they may have had pay cuts and without doubt they are worried about the future. We know that uncertainty is one of our biggest irrational enemies, just look at the Stock Market.

Below I have adapted the Kubler Ross change curve and integrated it with the William Bridges grief curve.

There is no set time for how long someone may work through the curve, in some cases people will get stuck and not move on.

Of course you want to help yourself and others move through the curve.

There is a lot written about change and there is no way that I can relay all of it, but I can tell you a few things that I have seen work well:

  • Acknowledge their loss – show concern and empathy

  • Publicly recognise the value of the old reality – even if change is necessary, the past ways were not all bad.

  • Explain clearly and repeatedly the reasons why change is necessary.

  • Do not ‘oversell’ the change – people in the early stage of transition are not yet ready to share your enthusiasm and this will alienate them.   

  • Communicate as much information about the change as possible.

It is often said that you cannot communicate too much, but do make sure the main message is coming from one source.

To alleviate their worry of uncertainty use the 3W model:

Why the change is necessary What the future will look like What is in it for them You may think that you don’t know the answers, but you do in the short term. Just help people through the curve a step at a time.

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