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Helping Employees During Change             Home      Employee Facilitation

Help Individuals Cope

Empower individuals to help themselves prepare for and deal with change within a more positive and healthful framework.

Provide individuals with one-on-one counseling on a wide range of therapeutic measures geared towards facilitating the reorganization of personal perceptions and behaviors. The focus must be on helping the individual come to grips with their work situation and facilitating changes in perception and behaviors that help the individual better to cope with work related change and anxiety.

Exercise and Diet

Many organizations have invested in exercise facilities, and/or subsidised court club memberships as a means to help facilitate employee involvement in exercise programs in an effort to improve overall organizational performance. 

During stressful times, humans tend to eat the exact kinds of foods that limit the individuals ability to handle stress effectively. Organizations, when allowing food vendors to market their products within the company, should demand that the products be ones that promote and maintain health and not the opposite.

Mediatation

Meditation is not some exotic ritual steeped in religious connotation that only religious fanatics become involved in. It is a mechanical process that if taught and practiced correctly, has profound and lasting effects on both physical and emotional health. It has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress, such as high blood pressure and gastric intestinal irritations, and to increase the ability to maintain mental focus and to increase one's ability to utilize their creative potential to a greater extent.

Financial Advice  

During times of organizational change, where major reductions in the work force are taking place, one of the great sources of anxiety is rooted in one's ability to manage personal finance. Providing financial counseling would help avoid these kinds of problems, thus helping to increase the overall health of the employees 

New Skills and Reassessment of Value

When any organization undergoes massive change it is absolutely critical to provide the survivors with the new skills required to deal with the new challenges they will most certainly face going forward. In addition to acquiring new and necessary skills, survivors need to know how they personally fit into the new scheme of things. They need to know in simple terms what is expected of them and how objectives are to be successfully completed. They need a game plan. And they especially need to know what value they bring to the new game. Without these understandings, many survivors will become fearful, resentful, isolated, withdrawn, depressed and not very creative nor productive. 

An effort should be made to find out who are the key players and what their new requirements might be. Key players are those individuals and/or groups that will clearly play a prominent role in moving the organization into the immediate future. These players can involve anyone from senior management to the "closet" leaders who are usually informally stirring the pot in counter productive ways. Once we have the key players identified, we need to provide those key players with the support, tools and new skills required to get the job done. They become the first "fulcrum" point for implementing successful change. At the same time we need to communicate to them, in meaningful ways, why they are important in achieving the organizations goals. Direction without meaning will not suffice. Organizations must now engage in the process of identifying key players and providing them with exactly what they need to overcome the many obstacles inherent in organizational work culture change.

Reinforcement of Self Worth and Creativity

One of the negative outcomes that human beings invariably experience when caught up in the process of significant change is the loss of self-meaning and self-worth. This invariably translates into losing or diminishing innovative and creative abilities. The psychic energies that are normally available for creative and innovative activities are displaced by the demands of the fear, paranoia and other undesirable mental states associated with the syndrome. The timing could not be worse: just when an organization needs all and more of the creative and innovative capabilities of its employees, they have little to give.

The real question at issue here is, "How can we revitalize human imagination in ways that stimulate creative and innovative thinking during times of significant stress?" And, "How can we accomplish this task such that the output is constructive?"

Home      Employee Facilitation

                                                                      Home      Employee Facilitation

Role of Society in Coping Mechanisms of Employees

Involving and/or considering the family, friends and community in the changes and challenges that employees face in their work environment up-front will help to minimize the negative effects of change. There are many methods that organizations can use to accomplish this. First, a traditional and very effective method is having open house days where families, friends and community can visit the work environment. This can be an excellent beginning, as it allows for connection and integration between worker, work place, family, friends and community at a non-abstracted level. Secondly, providing communications to families and community regarding current events at the work environment helps to keep these groups connected and supportive. Thirdly, providing family focused benefits, such as child care, family counseling, educational scholarships, work study programs, general health and safety information, business program kick-off messages to families from the CEO, seasonal and holiday salutations from management, and other informational home mailings are also methods that will nurture the family during times of change.

Friendship is a critical part of normal human experience. During times of abnormal stress, good friends can and do provide excellent counsel and support. While we can't construct programs that create friends for employees, we can extend educational communications that highlight the importance of friendships. We can begin to educate employees that developing friendships outside of the work place is a very important part of becoming more self-reliant. It is also an important part of networking that provides greater opportunity when it becomes time to seek new employment. I believe we should have programs that teach employees how to effectively build networks and how to market themselves long before they are faced with loss of job.

This is a time that activities which enhance employee harmony and trust should be increased and not decreased. Programs such as summer picnics, holiday parties, pizza celebrations for group successes, impromptu get togethers, etc. can help provide employees with a sense of camaraderie: not in the sense of good old buddies, but in the sense of nourishing connection and shared mission. We should not end funding for these kinds of activities just for short term financial gains. We should increase them and manage them intelligently in ways that help repair and strengthen employee morale, self-esteem, self- reliance, and organizational spirit.

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Helping Employees Market Themselves      Home      Employee Facilitation

It has become clear over the last ten to fifteen years that stability in the work place is a thing of the past. No longer can employees expect that, if they are loyal and provide excellent work, they will remain with an organization until retirement. Nor can organizations expect good employees to remain loyal and not search for greater opportunity elsewhere. This new, implicit contract between employer and employee is demanding that the relationships between the two change in some very significant ways.

The immediate problem is that the employer is far ahead of the employee in the learning curve. Employers understand the need for a flexible work force and have for the last fifteen years taken actions along those lines. On the other hand, employees still cling to the old contracts and remain ill prepared to cope with constant employment changes. They simply do not understand how to increase their skill value and market it well. This leaves them in a precarious state and easy victims to the moods and swings of an ever changing business environment.

We need to begin to provide developmental learning opportunities for our employee base such that they acquire new personal value enhancing skills. In addition, we need to provide education on self-marketing abilities which will allow them to become more self-reliant and thus better able to cope with and survive the ongoing downsizing changes the organization is expected to experience over the next seven years. Value-skilled and self-reliant employees do not suffer nearly as much during organizational restructuring and downsizing.