TUESDAY 16 DEC 2014 10:55 AM

POOR CHANGE MANAGEMENT AFFECTS EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY

As any good employer knows, strong employee engagement is key to productivity. But research shows that this can be hard to achieve, particularly in situations of change. A recent survey by HR consultants, Towers Watson, has found that less than a third of employees believe change to be well-implemented in their organisation.

The Towers Watson Global Workforce Study shows that the boardroom frequently falls short when it comes to managing and communicating change, and this leads to a lack of trust in leadership. Only half of the 32,000 surveyed reported trust in their senior leadership team, and the same percentage feel uninspired to give their best in the workplace.

Lack of trust in leadership can be disastrous for a company and was given as the top motivation for leaving a job. To improve on these alarming statistics leadership teams need to keep an open dialogue with their staff, ensuring that reasons for change are clearly explained. Employees should feel engaged and excited about change, rather than experiencing it as a source of work-related stress.

Richard Veal, UK leader for reward, talent and communication at Towers Watson, says, “There is no escaping the fact that companies need to continually change and innovate in order to minimise emerging risks and capitalise on new opportunities created by evolving customer demand. However, how they communicate those changes is crucial to business success. A change management programme needs to be accompanied by a comprehensive communications plan that delivers sincere, clear and consistent messages about the future. The best leaders understand the importance of engaging employees at an emotional level. They address difficult issues head-on in their communications to staff, but at the same time create excitement around what is to come - rather than the current fear and disillusionment that our research highlights.”

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