In the last 6 months, 82% of employees experienced significant change at their organization. What’s more is that 66% of employees anticipate additional change in the next six months, including layoffs of team members, significant organizational restructuring, and changes in one or more senior leaders. From the Federal Administrators perch, these disruptive changes are perceived as necessary to meet current budgetary constraints. From an employee’s perspective, however, these changes are exhausting, nerve-wracking, and productivity-draining. Our Guidance for Public Sector Executives study spells out how these changes are impacting morale at federal agencies.
How can Leaders spot the symptoms of change fatigue?
Don’t wait for your annual employee engagement survey to spot the signs of change fatigue. Walk around your building, ask employees how they’re feeling, think about the requests that you are triaging from leaders and internal clients. Not sure what you’re looking for? I’ve brainstormed a quick list of things to keep an eye out for. What would you add? Which symptoms are most prevalent at your company? Contact us if we’ve missed anything
How do I know if my organization is suffering from change fatigue?
Are your employees…
- Coming to work late or leaving early?
- Making frequent mistakes?
- Taking 2-hour lunches?
- Updating their Facebook statuses every 15 minutes?
- Resistant to new ideas?
- Missing performance goals?
- Stressed out?
Are your leaders…
- Coming to you with frequent “change communications” requests?
- Unwilling to address employees directly?
- Communicating infrequently with employees?
- Frustrated by a lack of employee engagement?
- Openly showing fear, anxiety, or frustration?
- Talking about a “return to stability” or a “return to normalcy”?
How are you helping your company relieve the symptoms of change fatigue?
We’ve done quite a bit of research on developing “agility” in your organization, but I’ll leave you with one idea that one government executive shared with me last week. At her agency she’s trying to adjust (notice we didn’t say change ) the lexicon used to describe change. Instead of talking about “change,” they are talking about “making better choices.” A subtle shift but a good start to help the organization embrace the idea that change is the new normal and those agencies—and individuals—that can create change versus wish it away will succeed.