Concerns of people facing change


While discussing ways to design for the future while effectively managing the present, we are in fact dealing with processes of change that needs to be managed well. People who face changes in the workplace have many concerns that need to be appreciated and that we need to be aware about. Below we will discuss some of the concerns that people may have.
1. Information concerns. Workers will ask why all this change is necessary. What is wrong with the way things are now? They simply want to understand. Management will therefore need to make sure that sufficient information is provided and available.
2. Personal concerns. How will this all affect me? What is in it for me? Will I win or lose? What role can I play? What skills and resources do I have to play my role effectively? People will feel uncertain because they have to do things differently. This is quite normal and should be appreciated. Not feeling uncomfortable probably means they are not doing anything different.
People will initially also focus on what they have to give up. Change is a very personal matter and people feel they have lost a sense of security. Management needs to understand that workers have to count their “losses”, in terms of control, time, order, resources, colleagues, prestige, etc. Their leaders need to help people deal with this sense of loss.
People may also feel alone. They ask themselves: “Why me?” Support therefore needs to be created by management and including people in working groups or a taskforce will help.
People can handle only so much. They tend to get overwhelmed and become immobilized. Therefore it is good not to change everything at once but to begin with the key areas that will make the biggest difference.
People also differ in their readiness for change. Some will get excited while others resist change and need time to warm up to new challenges. Awareness of one’s own level of readiness for change can be extremely helpful. 
People may be concerned that they will not have sufficient resources. They think they will need more time, money, facilities. But in fact they will probably have to do more with less. They need to work smarter rather than harder. Again, working in teams will be helpful.
Once people feel that their personal concerns have been addressed they tend to turn their attention to how the change will be implemented.
3. Implementation concerns. How are priorities set? What needs to be done first? How do I manage all the details? What happens if it doesn’t work out as planned? Where do I go for help? How long will this take? Again, working in a team or a taskforce may help.
4. Impact concerns. Is it worth it? Is the change going to make a difference? The answers will all not be available but working together progress will be made.
5. Collaboration concerns. Who else should be involved? How can we work with others to get them involved? People who ask these questions want to move on and are in fact ready for the change and to be part of it.
6. Refinement concerns. How can we make the change even better? Can we improve the original idea? At this level people are looking beyond the intended change. This is where people have to go and get all on board. Continuous improvement and innovation needs to be supported as well encouraging others to challenge the process.
People will have these concerns. If they pass successfully through them they will be ready to help plan change in the future. With each successive pass through the stages of change organizations develop their capacity to move through change more effectively.

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