Change management and turnover

People Profits has no political position

As the newly elected Representatives, Senators and President are sworn in, changes are in the offing. Nowadays we have no shortage of political commentators across the spectrum. This creates a wide variety of predictions including extreme positions. My main involvement is listening to my friends go off in one direction of the other. A small percentage of this communication is truly out of control and is simply amusing.

Change or even rumors of change can cause turnover. Organizations that are going through changes need to spend more time monitoring the internal organizational talk. I am not a big fan of town hall meetings and the like. Too much of the talk represented in those discussions are greatly watered down. Seldom will employees take the risk of going too far from the middle of the conversation. When they do, they are universally shut down and the thought will go underground.

We need to know what is being discussed at the coffee bar

Once, I was working in the finance department of an energy company in a contract position reporting to the CFO. The day I started, I was at the coffee bar and someone had left a mess. I was in the process of cleaning up the mess when the guy behind me said, “You mom raised you right”. He went on to say he did not recognize me and asked what department I worked in. I said I was starting a new project with the CFO. I asked what department he worked in. He said, “Executive” and introduced himself as the CEO.

He went on to tell me he had a definite interest in the project and was looking forward to my input. He emphasized to me the importance of the project and how the organization needed a well thought out solution. In the short time I spoke with him, it was clear he was looking for solutions and he would not be put off by thinking outside the box. This is the number one attribute which needs to be projected by management to open the lines of communication.

Proper attitude comes from the top

As the project moved on, some of the rumors were truly startling. The source did not understand what we were working on and what the possible solutions were. Some of the rumored “outcomes” were the very things we were attempting to eliminate. It was clear, the source of the most outlandish rumors had little knowledge of what we were trying to do. Keeping the employees on track and not reacting to rumors can be a full time job.