Professionals often have emotional attachments to their jobs and their roles in their company. Any time an organization goes through internal changes, it has the potential to impact the workplace dynamic, alter productivity and change working relationships. However, managing expectations and encouraging open communication can help make transitions smoother for everyone.
Mergers and Acquisitions
When a business changes hands or merges with another organization, managers and employees may struggle to find where they fit in the new organizational structure. This can be particularly challenging if layoffs or the expectation of downsizing are part of the equation. Make staffing changes as soon as possible, and create new organizational charts and job descriptions if necessary to help staff with this transitional period. Provide regular updates and informational status reports to keep the rumor mill from feeding unsubstantiated gossip.
Bringing in new leaders, particularly in upper management roles, often means a shift in managerial styles that both managers and staff need to become accustomed to. Encourage new managers to meet with employees one-on-one or in department settings to fully articulate expectations and explain new management styles and approaches. Regular communication via meetings, intradepartmental email or updates can help keep everyone in the loop about changes and help reduce the potential for negative impact on productivity.
When organizational structure changes, the responsibilities or compositions of various departments have the potential to be altered as well. New work flow charts, project planning processes and departmental responsibilities may be reassessed, with some responsibilities reassigned, reduced or eliminated. Make sure employees at every level are aware of how changes to their own and other departments directly affect the way they do their jobs, and the way they work on team projects and collaborative efforts.
New managers and corporate structures typically bring about philosophical changes related to how a company operates and what its goals and objectives are. Understanding a company’s evolving mission statement and short- and long-term strategic objectives can help staff adjust to and manage change. Hold regular all-staff meetings, encourage open-door policies for leaders and let employees know it’s OK to ask questions so they better understand the role they play in continuing to make the organization a success.
Changes can be frightening and stressful. Fear of the unknown and the loss of familiarity and control can affect attitude and performance negatively. Be patient with employees during this transitional stage.
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