Recently, corporate leaders at an advertising agency in Gurgaon were facing the challenges like repetitive errors in advertising copies, content full of clichés, missed client deadlines, and so on. This was unlike earlier days when projects were getting over before the targeted date with employees putting extra hours to help the business meet objectives. HR management didn’t seem a problem earlier with employees feeling intrinsically motivated in a positive work culture.
So, what went wrong?
The lacklustre attitude towards advertising project commitments was hard to comprehend.
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With things changing rapidly in media and marketing world, leaders of the agency were trying to benefit from the influx of tech tools and stay organized for the future. However, employees were grappling with the fear of delivering too much and too fast to stay competitive in the digital age.
If their fear would have been addressed earlier, keeping up with the changing digital media landscape would have been easier.
Change is not the problem, but the resistance to change can do enough damage. Fortunately, there are a few signs to figure out employees’ resistant attitude quite early.
#1 Gossips Are Going Around
Hushed tones of complaints and gossips in break rooms ate the major sign of resistance to workplace change. Dissatisfied employees often air complaints regarding work overload and the unjust attitude of bosses among themselves rather than voicing the discontent directly to managers. If gossip is allowed to fester, it can lead to bigger problems down the road. Psst! Even unconcerned employees can be taken in by the office gossip and become a liability to the overall morale of a team.
So, how to tame this workplace beast?
Be honest and sincere in all interactions with employees while encouraging an environment of open communication. Arrange a meet with gossiping employees in a private setting, and begin by removing any blame and fear from the discussion session. This will encourage them communicate wholeheartedly, and allow you go deeper into the cause of resentment. Based on your findings, you can set new goals for every employee which is specific, timely and realistic. Also, policies can be created for smooth grievance redressal and overcoming the blame culture at work. HR management solution can provide a one-stop platform where employees can voice their opinion.
Further, don’t refrain from praising employees upon seeing any progress. Positive reinforcements often lead to desired results!
#2 Communication Has taken a Hit
Are work reports slow to come in? Is the response to request for information and updates slow? Are emails being left unanswered for long? Maybe, your employees are still avoiding the reality that new procedures have been introduced finally. In denial with the change, resistant employees often do not stay abreast with updates. Introduction of new procedures or automation technologies can further fuel the rumour mill and create an environment of subsequent fear related to mass layoffs, relocation, etc.
As soon as you understand issues leading to communication breakdown, start right away by removing communication distractions and interacting in person with resentful employees. Do not hesitate to address the fear of employees, and encourage to discuss any issue that is bothering them. This will help in clearing the air on new procedures and conveying the benefits of change convincingly.
#3 Productivity Has Slowed Sharply
Are there frequent incidences of missing deadlines in your office lately? Before you put the blame on employees for negligence right away, wait! Your employees seem busy all the time with work, even if they produce very little! So, what’s slowing down their productivity?
They are either uncertain about the new means of carrying business activities smartly, or they are feeling exploited by working on a project that is taking a toll on their health and personal life. Productivity taking a nosedive is also a warning in disguise that your demotivated employees can jump ship as soon as the opportunity comes their way. That’s not it. There are many other warning
In this scenario, managers from different departments can take help of the HR management solutions to track the performance of every employee consistently. With the use of Focus Infosoft Cilfi HRMS Solution, managers and HR management professionals can keep a look on the performance of every employee and point out the sudden drop in productivity, if any. Accordingly, managers can have feedback sessions with underperforming employees to know the cause of their disenchantment with work, and convince them for taking the bull by the horns.
#4 Employee Morale Has Fallen
Has the morale of your employees declined noticeably after the introduction of new tools of the trade? If yes, this is the classic example of resistance to the change. Employees often feel more distant and appear to be lethargic towards work when they are uncertain about the new move. The lack of motivation of a few employees can bring down the morale of the entire team.
When your employees’ morale needs a boost, you need to mix the usual way of doing things at their workplace. Let your employees move away from the current task for a while and shake things up with projects they are passionate about. This way, their morale can shoot up significantly. Further, you can manage training needs with HR management solution, and conduct sessions to help employees develop a positive attitude towards change. Also, watching motivational videos together can possibly help.
#5 Employees Keep Calling in Sick
Often, to avoid the situation of conflict post any policy change or process transformation, employees start taking frequent leaves. Also, there can be frequent incidences of late arrivals and early exits as the natural reaction to any organizational change.
If you have recently implemented Salesforce Automation Tool, some employees may take it as a threat to their job. However, automation is an opportunity, not a threat! On the contrary when sales meet tech, following the strategy and tracking success metrics become easier.
Nothing stays the same in the business world. To stay competitive, a company needs to propel its employees to embrace new technologies together as a team. Sometimes, employees have a hard time accepting the impermanence. The onus lies on corporate leaders to help employees overcome the anxiety that comes with change.