How Can Organization Help Employees To Overcome the Fear of Change in Their Workplace
Working with numbers within that little space in the accounting office made my life dull and boring! I wanted a change! My craving for change was enormous but crushed by an overwhelming negative energy of fear! I was held back with fear of all kinds, which hindered me to take steps in changing my life from boring to a more self gratifying and productive work environment.
I know I was not the only one to experience it. More human beings have thought of failure before even trying out a thing that is unknown to them, afraid of the impact that change may bring to their lives, to their future in particular. All of us have reactions that differ from one to another, but I think we all would agree that among all the unpredictable reactions perceived and the heart of the irrationality is fear.
We say “fear is rampant and uncontrolled.” But the experts would tell you that “Fear can be managed if done right!”
Employee Fears Related to Change
When I got considered for a promotion to another office, I had all kinds of fear inside my head, and I guess many others felt these varieties of fears, to name a few:
• the fear of incompetence. Can I meet the demands that may be brought about by the change of jobs?
• the fear of having to do the real work these includes the fear of greater responsibilities and the challenge of a more difficult skills
• the fear of criticism upon failure
• the fear of peer pressures, fear of being overworked, and fear of not having enough time for the family.
Managing These Type of Fears in the Organization
We cannot escape the truth that despite the outpourings of techniques, of resource persons and materials, for trainings to reform an organization, still a few others still stick to being authoritarian and over demanding, or one that is anxiously in need of perfectionism, running their structure on power and intimidation. These are the two enemies of a meaningful change. It destroys creativity among the staffs. Creating multiple demands from all sides and loading these to one seemingly perfect employee into despair and expose him to stress until his spirit collapses. These employees need to get the organization off their back before they will change anything. Burned out they’d give up their responsibilities and any need to change.
This type of management in the organization displays negative values which can act as internal breaks for change. When the employees within this organization becomes lazy, and there is loss of control of their actions, like having coffee outside for more than fifteen minutes every day, or loss of direction like typing unnecessary reports when what the management need is something else, the organization starts thinking about the need for a change. And they are right there. They definitely need to adapt new techniques in the process of change; from being oppressive to becoming more liberal and more tolerant and considerate to their staffs.
Open Clogged-Up Communication Channels
An American author and an editor, Marilyn Ferguson, wrote, “When people are uncertain about the changes they are experiencing, poor communication allows fears to grow and sends the wrong message. Support and full, honest disclosure is important and can speed the change process. New personnel or projects create continued challenges to the process of good communication.’’
Managers usually give their staffs jobs to do, leaving the employee working at the outside edge of the office, feeling disconnected and uncertain who to speak with, lacking confidence to create channels and connections for themselves. What they have neglected to do, according to Ferguson, is to clarify each person’s role, the task limits, or the proper standards and values that go with the task. The employees find themselves tripping over others’ “territories” and assignments.
Subsequently, to speed up the change process that an organization would want to do from their employees, communication must exist; not one way, meaning top to bottom, and not too much filtering from other managers or supervisors. These are some of the obstruction to every effort towards positive change – which should include among other things the following:
creating a positive environment for their employees
tying together the collective power of those who want forward-thinking and creative change
leading the organization into tomorrow’s challenges through visionary leadership, bringing their vision to life which will overcome the distrust and fear stemming from failures of the past.
inviting participation and contribution from the employees concerned
bringing full, passionate, creative human souls into the workforce, people who has an unshakable belief that the change can be made into something good, and
installing support systems needed to reinforce the patterns of change.