Continuous change can lead to severe employee burnout. Some symptoms of burnout are that change loses its importance, and employees grow tired of going from one new program to another. It seems to them as if it is more important to management to implement a change quickly than to conduct a realistic assessment of its chances of success.
You can’t eliminate the stress that comes with continual change, but you can reduce employee cynicism toward change initiatives by sharing your long-term vision, as well as short-term goals, with your employees. They will, then, be able to see how proposed changes will help to achieve that vision. They may even become sources of new ideas.
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It will also help if employees are kept in touch with the business environment. If employees are closely connected to customers’ needs and are alert to the actions of competitors, they won’t be sent into shock when circumstances cause you to shift directions or priorities. To ensure their appreciation of the reasons behind the change, explain the change clearly to all involved. Tell your employees the rationale for it. Specify their role in it. Describe both the short-term and the long-term implications. Don’t let doubts grow. Such doubts will only create resistance, generate frustration, and trigger further feelings of stress in today’s leaner organizations. If the stressful feelings need an outlet, hold gripe sessions within your operation to let employees voice their frustrations.