Leading Positive Change
May 6, 2021 / 51:50:00
Well, hello, everyone, welcome to part one of our May Wednesday webinar series. My name is Emmet. I’m a marketing specialist at Vensure and I will be your host for the next hour. Today, our panelist, Robin Paggi, will be talking about leading positive change in the workplace. And we will have a Q&A session at the end. So save your questions for that. You can drop your questions in the question box that we have in the control panel here. And we’ll get to the instructions for that in a minute. And lastly, just a reminder, this is being recorded and we’ll share that with you along the slide deck when we’re done. This webinar is brought to you, as always, by VensureHR. Vensure is the leader of 20 plus PEO partners with clients in all 50 states. Today’s agenda, we will be talking about the reasons people resist change. We’ll be diving into Kotter’s eight-step change model and what happens when change is imposed on you. And lastly, we’ll have that Q&A. So when you logged in, you should have seen a control panel open and screen share window pop up. In the control panel, there’s a dropdown section titled Questions. Open that section and type your question into the dialog box and hit enter. If you’re a client please put “client” in your questions so we can track that and you will not see the questions or comments of others. So it’s all anonymous. Feel free to send us whatever and we will try to answer all the questions that we have during the time that we have. But if we don’t get to the questions that you send us, feel free to reach out at webinarHRhelp@vensure.com. And today, we’re joined, I’m joined, as always, by Robin Paggi. She’s a human resource practitioner who specializes in training on topics such as harassment prevention, communication, team building, and supervisory skills. And I’ll hand that over to Robin to kick us off.
All right, Emmet, you made a little change with the intro. You usually say, “we’re thrilled to have Robin Paggi” and I don’t know that I like that change. You did not include that. So that’ll be one of the reasons that people resist change is they don’t like the change. But before we jump into all of these reasons, a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus said thousands of years ago, change is the only constant. Now, I don’t know what all was changing thousands of years ago, but we know we live in a world of constant change now. It comes rapidly at us. We buy our iPhone for $1,200 dollars and six months later it already needs some updates and all of that kind of stuff because things constantly change. So if it’s been the case for thousands of years, that change is the only constant, especially for those of us who are alive now, why do people still resist change? Let’s go to the next slide and find out.
When someone is going to try to encourage people to change, I don’t want to say the word make people change, but that happens sometimes. But one of the things that you should know, whether you’re a leader or just anyone wanting to make some kind of change, whether at work or in your personal life, it’s good for you to know why people resist change. Because if you know about these things, then you can address them as you are trying to introduce or implement your change. Now, this information comes from Harvard Business Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter and she has a very nice article about why people resist change. And she also wrote a book about it. And so if you’re interested in more info, Rosabeth Moss Kanter is one of the experts that you can go to. So this is what she said. People resist change because of a loss of control. One of the things that people like is autonomy and autonomy means I’m in charge. I control my destiny. I am the master of my domain. I am in charge. And when somebody imposes change on someone else, they are no longer in charge. They’re being told what to do by other people. And that doesn’t feel good for a lot of people. Some people need more control than others, and maybe they don’t need to control other people. They just need to be able to control what happens to them. And when that starts to slip away, that makes some people very upset and anxious. Also, excess uncertainty. Sometimes when change is imposed upon us, we feel like we don’t know what’s happening. And a lot of times it’s because the people who are imposing the change aren’t telling us what’s happening. So there is one of the things that you need to do. If you want people to make a change, you’ve got to communicate with them a lot. And I’ll talk about that in the next slides. But that’s what happens sometimes is that people who are leading the change aren’t telling people what’s going on. And more importantly, they’re not telling them why it’s going on. And if people don’t know why and they don’t agree with the change, then chances are they’ll resist it. Now, there is a saying that says, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” And so that’s one of the things, too, is that people might benefit from a change, but if they don’t know enough about it, chances are they’ll resist it because they know what’s happening now and they might not even like what’s happening now, but at least they know what’s happening now. Next is surprise, surprise. Now, I am a person who likes surprises. I don’t like unhappy surprises, but I like things like surprise parties. But there are people who don’t like surprise parties, and so you should never throw one for them. So there are some people who want to know what their future holds. They want it all outlined. They want a plan. They want to follow that plan. And for those people, any kind of surprises, even though it might be a nice surprise, is something they had not anticipated and thus tend to resist. Next, is everything seems different. And again, some people really like routine. They like things to be the same all the time. They like to predict what their future is. They like their days to flow as anticipated. And so with a change, things are going to be different and different, doesn’t work well for a lot of people. And so they will resist the change. Loss of face. Now, if we’re changing something, it means that what we’re doing right now isn’t working. And if I’m the one who implemented what we’re doing now and you’re telling me we have to change it, then that’s going to hurt my feelings and I’m not going to like that. And so that’s one of the things that if you’re going to implement or encourage change, you want to make sure that it doesn’t seem like we’re trying to fix something that’s broken. Rather, we’re trying to enhance something that we already have in place. Concerns about competence and one of the changes that happens frequently in the workplace now is new technology, and there are a bunch of us who resisted getting on the whole technological bandwagon from the get-go.
And so if I have to use technology as part of this change and I’m concerned about my ability to learn new technology and to use it competently, then sure, I’ll probably resist that change. Now, I got a little story about my mom on this one, and it has to do with technology. My mom was a waitress for most of her career and about 20 years ago the restaurant where she worked was implementing computers. Now we all go into McDonald’s and Taco Bell and every place under the sun has computers that people use to input the order. But this was well, is probably 30 years ago. And this was a big thing. She never used a computer before and she thought that she was going to lose her livelihood. All she had ever done for her career was to wait tables. And if every place is going to have computers where every food server has to learn computers, she was never going to have a job again. So she had quite the meltdown at work one day about these computers and her concerns for competence. Well, we’ll come back to the rest of her story a little bit later on. More work. Yes, change is going to bring more work. And again, if we have to learn new things like technology, it’s going to take longer to do what we have to do because the learning curve always goes down at the beginning before it starts to go up when we begin to master the change. So at the beginning, yes, it is going to be more work. Ripple effects. So usually things are connected. And if this changes, then what else is going to change? And all these changes now are going to happen when people are trying to tell me, “No, it’s just this one little change.” No. It usually has ripple effects. And so then that means that we’re constantly dealing with this and some people don’t like that. Past resentments. And so what happens sometimes is we’ve got things in place and if we change them, then that means we have to work with people that we don’t have to now. And we don’t really like those people or we have to do things that we don’t have to do now that we really don’t like to do. And so all of these things from the past that have been safely tamped down and we don’t have to deal with them might resurface and now we have to deal with them. And then sometimes the threat is real and sometimes people don’t like change because they think they’re going to lose their job and they might absolutely be right. And especially with technology, technology is supposed to automate things. So we don’t need people. And if we don’t need people, then that means people are going to lose their jobs. And so that’s one of the reasons that people resist. So all of these are really good reasons for people to resist change. And if you are trying to implement or suggest change to people, it’s really important that you keep these things in mind and determine how you’re going to work around these obstacles in order to get the change you want.
Fortunately for you, I’ve got some suggestions on how to do that. So let’s go to our next slides and take a look at that.
Now, I am not an expert on change. While I’m kind of more than I was before, but left to my own devices, I would probably make change miserable for most people that I supervise. And that’s because of my personality style. I love change for the sake of change. I need things to change up because I get bored with things being the same for too long. And that’s definitely not a good reason for change, just changing it up because you’re bored. Also, I’m impulsive. I do things very quickly. I don’t think things all the way through. I jump and then think about it. And so who am I to tell you how to implement change while I am someone who knows my weaknesses and goes to experts and people who write books about this stuff. And then I learn things and then I pass those things on. And so that’s what I’m doing here. John Kotter is also a Harvard University professor and he wrote the book on change. And he is someone that lots of people look to to figure out how to make changes. He created an eight-step change model that actually won awards, and the model was created after him observing numerous leaders and organizations, how they implemented change, looking at their failures and successes, and then putting it into this eight-step. Now, we don’t have time for me to go thoroughly through this. So I’m going to give you an overview. But I encourage you, if you want to implement change, just Google Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model and it will provide you with lots of details and step-by-step instructions. But let’s go to the next slide and we’ll take a look at the first few. Now, the first thing, if you want to make a change, is to create a sense of urgency for that change. You’ve got to convince people that change needs to happen. I mean, it really helps if everybody that the change is going to impact wants the change. But you probably already know they’re going to be people who are going to resist any change that you try to implement because of who they are and their reasons for resisting. So creating a sense of urgency is important so that you get buy-in on “we actually do need to make a change.” It’s not just Robin wanting to change things up because she’s bored. It’s that we really do need to make a change. So here’s an example of creating a sense of urgency that happened. I received a phone call from a business owner last week, probably on Monday. And this business owner said, “I’ve got a supervisor who is causing us problems. He is causing employees to leave. And these are good employees. And we can’t afford for them to leave because it is very tough to find good employees. We need help now.” All right, that’s creating a sense of urgency. And so I got the call on Monday. And on Friday, I was meeting with that supervisor, plus the business owner and a couple of other people that were thrown in there. And we are talking about what changes need to be made and in order to stop this turnover and stop losing good people. And so that’s what you need to do when creating a sense of urgency. So here are some specific things that you can do. First of all, identify potential threats. And so something is happening to make us lose people. And this business owner thinks it’s the supervisor might not be completely correct, but the reason that the business owner thinks it’s a supervisor is because the employees who are leaving are telling him that they’re leaving because of the supervisor. So identify what is the threat in the organization? There’s probably more than one because then we need to figure out what to do about it. And then examine opportunities that can be taken advantage of. And so I don’t know how this business owner found me. I’m assuming they just got on Google and tried to figure out who in Bakersfield could help them solve their problem. And lucky me, I got in front of them. And so what opportunities do we have? What possible solutions are there that can help us with whatever the problem is that we need to fix? And then starting honest discussions with people about: we’ve got to make some changes; if we don’t, we’re going to lose people, we’re going to lose customers, we’re going to lose revenue. Whatever it is, is going to be bad. And we don’t want that. So we’ve got to make some changes. And requesting support from other people. And so that’s one of the things on step two, forming a powerful coalition. Now, before we go there, I do want to say that I know some of you who are joining us today are not in leadership positions. You might not want to impose any kind of change on your organization, but this works for personal life as well. And so the example that I use for this one is that I wanted my aging parents to have someone live with them, to take care of them. Of course, they did not want that. And they thought that they’re fine and they’re independent and they don’t want anybody in their house and etc, etc. And so how do we create a sense of urgency, or how do I create a sense of urgency, about them needing somebody to help them? Well, I don’t do it by myself. And that’s where we go to step two: forming a coalition to help you. So if you’re at the top of the food chain, it might be all you need is you telling people that there will be a change. But even if you’re at the top of the food chain, it’s important to have people who support your change before you introduce it to other people. And so that’s what the powerful coalition is all about, is that you want to identify at your organization various people who have influence and you want to solicit their help in helping to sell this change. Now, these people who have influence, sometimes they have influence because of the position that they’re in. But sometimes they have influence because of the people that they are. I mean, we have people who are making a living now by being influencers on YouTube and TickTock and places like that.
And so we have people in our organization who might not be in a position of power but have a lot of power because their opinion holds sway on other people. And so you want to identify those people and then you also want to identify people who are going to resist your change from the get-go to be a part of your coalition. Now, that might seem like that doesn’t make sense. Why do I want Debbie and Doug Downer to be on my coalition for change? Well, of course, I need to tell you a story about why. I used to work with a guy named Bob. And I didn’t like Bob for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons I didn’t like him is because he shot down my brilliant ideas. And I would come up with these brilliant ideas that I would tell my team of coworkers, and then Bob would start to shoot those ideas down in front of everybody. And so that’s a really good reason not to like somebody, huh? All right. Well, now, many years later, I understand that a lot of my ideas are not nearly as brilliant as I think they are. And I need people to tell me what’s wrong with them because I don’t look at all the details. I don’t see all the threats. I don’t see a lot of things. What I see, my vision of things, is that everything’s going to turn out great. So I need to have those people around me who will tell me what is wrong with my ideas, but in a nice way and not in front of other people. So I would choose on my coalition the people I know are going to be resistant to my change. And before you try to introduce change, you say to them, “OK, this is what I’m thinking. Tell me everything that’s wrong with this idea.” And then you get their buy-in. And that they’re helping. They’re helping you. They get to advise you. They get to show you how brilliant they are with all the things that they can find wrong with your idea. And then that gets them on your team. So that’s part of the coalition as well. Another thing to think about with your coalition is you want to have people at various levels of the organization too. So this is one place that people frequently make mistakes. They just have the management team be their coalition. Well, the management team doesn’t know everything, and especially they’re coming up with ideas that might not work at the front level staff or front staff level. And so that’s the reason that you need to encourage people who are on the line there in the trenches. They’re doing the dirty work. You need to have them on your coalition as well because what seems like a great idea in the C Suite doesn’t work when you’ve got boots on the ground. And so it’s important to have them on your team as well. So here are some very specific things that you can do.
Identify the influencers, the true leaders in your organization, and ask them to be a part of your coalition. And you really need to have some kind of commitment from them that they will help you with this change. Now, you want to look for weaknesses within the coalition that you’ve got together because there will be some. And so then you want to try to shore up those weaknesses as much as you can. So, for example, we go back to Bob and we know that Bob’s weakness is that he likes to talk a lot to people about what is not working well. And so while you want Bob’s input privately about what is wrong with your idea, once your coalition has decided what to change is going to be you need a commitment from Bob that he’s not going to badmouth it out in the ranks. So that is the commitment. Now, again, with the business example that I gave you, I receive a call from a business owner and the business owner is asking me to be a part of the coalition to make some changes within the organization and to do a really good job of it, because the owner is telling me why changes need to be made. So that’s one of the things, is that your coalition could exist of people outside of your organization that can have influence on your organization, that might be your customers or some other stakeholders. All right. Now with this coalition, you’re going to create a vision. And that’s one of the things there are some people. Who are very visionary, they can just see it all now, they can look to the future and they can forecast what’s going to happen in that future, and they’ve got an idea of what that future is going to look like with the change. And then there are other folks who can’t envision things like that. They see what is right in front of them and one is not better than the other. But for Kotter’s Eight-Step Model, you’ve got to have some visionaries in your group who can paint a picture of this is what the change is going to look like. And it’s going to be fabulous when they when we get there. And so what is that vision going to look like? Well, you need to capture a short summary of what it’s going to look like so that you can describe it in a minute or less or two minutes or less or whatever. So we used to–we being business professionals–used to be coached on having an elevator speech. And so this is a speech that if you get into an elevator with somebody and they ask you, so what do you do for a living, you are able to tell them where you work, what the organization does, what you do within the organization in a minute or less to try to convince them that they might want to do business with you. So that’s the old elevator speech and that’s where you want to do with your vision, too. You want to be able to communicate it very quickly and in just a moment. So I want to give you an example of how creating a vision can work. And in the workplace that I’m in now, it’s a beautiful building that I’m in now, very modern 70s, if you can imagine what that look looks like. So before we moved into this building, my coworkers and I had to move out of our previous workplace and into a temporary holding. And the temporary holding, it sounds like jail to a certain degree, but I would imagine some of my coworkers would have described it that way. We were all jampacked on top of each other. The noise level was terrible. Everybody was getting on each other’s nerves. It was just not a happy little occasion. And one day I was complaining about going from the office that I had, to being in a conference room with six people who were bothering me and all of that stuff. And our marketing director said, “Hey, Robin, you want to go look at the new building?” And I said, sure. I mean, there was still building that. I didn’t know that we could get in and take a look at. Yeah, we can get in and look at it. Come take a look at it. OK, so we go in and she shows me where the new training room is going to be. I utilized the training room quite a bit and the old training room at our old business. It was not designed to be a training room. It was too dark, was too noisy. It just, it wasn’t isolated enough. And so lots of problems with and I really didn’t like it. She said, “Come in and take a look at the new training room.” OK, so there are still wires hanging down from the ceiling and nothing’s painted and all of that kind of stuff. But I’m one of those people. I can see something and I can envision what it’s going to look like. And I took a look at this training room and I just went, oh, this is going to be awesome. It was big. It was well lit. There was new high-tech equipment coming in. It was quiet. It was just beautiful. And I could see what it was going to be like. And that totally turned around my negative attitude that I had with being cooped up with my coworkers and they’re annoying me, is that I could see what the future was going to be and it was going to be awesome. And so that helped me get through that transition. Well, that’s exactly what you want to do when you’re creating a vision, is you want to show people this is what it’s going to look like with the change and it’s going to be awesome when we get there. And so I know in the meantime this, the transition’s not going to be fun and it’s going to be more work and things are going to feel weird. I know all of that stuff, but when we get there, it’s going to be great. And so those are the first three steps in the process. So let’s go on to the next steps.
All right, so you need to talk about the vision that you have created and this is not just you, this is your team of folks. And so things that you need to communicate need to be able to address the resisters. And when it comes to change, usually about 30% of employees are on board for it. They’re like, I don’t care what the change is, let’s just mix things up. And then 30% will dig in their heels from the get-go. I don’t care what the change is, I hate it already. And then the rest of the people, 40% are whatever. And so you really want to focus on the whatevers and the haters from the get-go. And so you’ve got to convince them by communicating the vision. It’s not just enough to take them into a training room and show them a room and they’ll jump on board. You’re probably going to have to do some work in order to convince them. So these are the things that you should talk about with that vision. First of all, the reason we’re going to make the change now, why was the reason that we were moving from our previous place of employment to this new building and having this transition where we’re all pile on top of each other in conference rooms in the meantime. Why was that happening? Well, a previous building, we were actually in several different buildings and those several different buildings impeded our communication and working together. And so if we’re all in one building together, then we can communicate better, we can work better, better together, and we can deliver better customer service. So that’s the reason for the change. So that’s what you want to be able to tell people. Don’t just throw a change on people and expect them to be happy with it. Describe for them why you want to make the change, what the benefits of the change will be, what the obstacles to change are. And it’s important to be upfront with people about this. It’s not all going to be wine and roses and hunky-dory. It’s there’s going to be some problems. We’re going to have a learning curve. We might have to work longer than we usually do. In our case, we’re all going to have to pack up all of our stuff and move to a new place and then pack up all of our stuff and move to a new place again a few months later. That’s not going to be fun. And so, yes, there are going to be some obstacles ahead of us. But what is the risk if change does not happen? Well, the risk for us was that we might not communicate as well as we could. The new building has lots of room for growth, so as we grow our customer base and we can grow our employees, and we won’t have to have them in an additional building someplace else. And so lots of perks. And the risk if that we don’t take advantage of this is that we will not be able to deliver the service that we need to be able to deliver to retain our customers and to get new ones. And if we can’t retain our customers and get new ones, then that’s going to have a ripple effect that everyone is not going to like. And what isn’t changing is important also, to point out that job descriptions are not going to change. The org chart is not going to change. The only thing that’s going to change is our physical location. And so once we get to that physical location, things will pretty much continue as they were, only better. All right. So it’s important when you’re communicating this vision that all of your change agents, your coalition, people are going to help you with this change, they can be able to describe all of this just like you can, in a couple of minutes. And so one of the things when I teach this as a workshop, it’s a three-hour workshop because there’s so much to cover. And I have people form a little coalition and come up with some kind of change they’d like to make, like we have ice creams available in the kitchen all the time, and then they need to create their message. And then when I have them do is spread out over the training room, my fabulous new training room. And then I walk up to each one of them and I say, “OK, let’s say that I encounter you in the break room. And I hear that there’s some idea about ice creams available, what’s that about?” and they’ve got to be able to communicate that vision. And then I walk over to another one and I say, “OK, let’s say I encounter you in the parking lot and there’s something about ice creams. What’s that about?” That employee needs to be able to communicate that vision just exactly like the previous one did. And so that’s one of the things that you need to do with your coalition, is that you all practice what this vision speech looks like and you can all say the same thing over and over. Because that’s one of the things, as soon as people start getting an inkling that a change is happening, they’re going to start seeking data to find out what is happening. And you want to have the same message over and over and over. So there’s not misunderstandings, miscommunication and only makes your job harder to try to encourage this change. Now, one of the things about change also, and especially when communicating the vision, you’ve got to walk the talk. And I think this is one of the most basic leadership principles, just lead by example. If you want the change, you’ve got to make the change so that everyone will, too. And so let’s say you implement change where you decide that people don’t get to wear jeans to work anymore and so nobody gets to wear jeans. And then you’re the leader and you walk in with a pair of jeans and people are looking at you thinking, “I thought we weren’t supposed to wear jeans anymore.” And you’re thinking, “Well, I’m the boss. I can do whatever I want.” That’s not going to work. So don’t do the “do as I say, not as I do.” You’ve got to lead by example. All right. Let’s go on.
Now, step five is removing obstacles and what kind of obstacles might you have that’s preventing your change? Well, sometimes obstacles are the processes. The process we’re working, or we’re using isn’t working. And so we need to remove this process. Sometimes it is the obstacle to the change that we wanted is our building. And so we’re removing that obstacle. We’re selling the building and we’re moving to a new building. So that was that obstacle. Sometimes the obstacle is people. And so one of the things that you want to do is you really want to help the resisters. You want to explain why you need the change. You want to explain why they’re going to benefit from the change. You want to give them time to make the change. You want to do everything you can because hopefully, you understand at this point that there are some people just based upon their natural inclination is going, are going to dig in their heels on anything that you suggest. And so you want to help them, encourage them, that type of thing. So I’ll go back to my mom. Remember, she was waitressing, going to have computers. She’d never used a computer. She has a meltdown and at work. And so does her boss fire her because she’s upset with this change? And trust me, when she’s upset, she’s pretty vocal about it. So does her boss fire her as a result of that? No. Her boss provided her with lots and lots and lots of individual training on how to use that computer. And the obstacle at that point was her lack of knowledge and ability. And so that obstacle was removed with training. Now, everybody received training, but the younger people who had already been working computers just sailed right through it. They kind of laughed at the training. “I don’t need this. Why do I have to come to this?” But it was the older people like my mom who had never used a computer that needed lots and lots and lots of support. And that’s exactly what she got. And then after she got that support, she was training other people on how to use the computer and bragging about how wonderful it was to use the computer to input your order. So that’s what you want to have. But when you have people who are just not going along with the change, sometimes they are the obstacle that need to be removed. So I was given an example in training. A gentleman told me that he owned a little business that served oil companies, and part of the world that I live in is that a huge part of our employers in the county where I live is people are in oil. And so oil prices were dropping, business was dropping, businesses were going out of business, businesses were laying off employees. And so, unfortunately, when you depend upon an industry for your economy, when that industry gets hit, everybody suffers. So this guy told me that he decided that he wanted all of his employees to be more professional, to look more professional when they were serving these oil companies because he felt that if they were more professional then that would be the different differentiating factor between their competitors, and that they could maintain business while other people were losing their businesses if people would look and act more professionally. So he asked his employer, employees, to tuck in their shirts. So that’s one of the ways to look more professional. First of all, come to work with your shirts clean and ironed and tuck them in. And he had an employee who refused to do it. And I think the reason the employee refused to do it is because he didn’t look very good when the shirt was tucked in. And so he resisted and the employer told him, “This is why I want the shirts tucked in please tuck in your shirt,” gave him opportunities and the employee refused. Well, that’s one of the things that happens sometimes, and people know it, is that if you take the heat off of them, they’ll just revert to what they’ve always been doing and nobody will be paying attention. So finally, he told me he had to fire the employee because he would not tuck in his shirt. But he had to because this was the change that he wanted. The employee refused to go along with it. And that’s what you have to do with employees who refused to go along with your change. Otherwise, if you let that employee get away with it, then everybody else will, too. And your change is not going to hold. And so that’s removing obstacles. Now, one of the things that you want to do to make your change successful is to create short-term wins, and so it’s nice if you have a little goal right in front of people. For example, if everybody tucks in their shirt for a week, I’ll give you a gift card to Baskin Robbins. OK, that kind of helps the people not wanting to check their shirt in, but you get my drift. All right. So if we do this for a week, everybody does it, here is a little reward. And then if we do it for a month, everybody does it, then here is a little reward. We do it for six months. You get the drift. OK, if you say if we do this for a year, you’ll get a reward, that’s too hard. That’s too far away. We can’t handle a year. And our fast-paced environment, if it takes five seconds for a computer to boot up, then that’s waste of time. And so we need these short-term wins that are very winnable, very doable. And so it’s important to have that mapped out in front of you that inspires people to keep going forward with the change. And then building on the change. Or one of the things that’s going to happen is that things aren’t going to work the way that you thought they were going to. And you plan and plan and plan and then it didn’t work. And so you’re going to have to reevaluate. You’re going to have to change course to a certain degree. That’s really important that you don’t keep implementing changes on people. People can only handle so much change. And so no big sweeping changes. You realize, OK, things didn’t work, so don’t just entirely scrap the idea, then just tweak it a little bit so that it does work. But constant assessment on how things are going, what’s going right, what needs to be fixed and continuing on that path until finally, step eight, you anchor the change in the culture. And what that means is that you’ve had these small-term, short-term wins. You’ve had all of this momentum going forward.
And then after a while, it’s just part of who we are. It’s part of our job descriptions, part of our core values. It’s part of our employee handbook. This is just the way we are. So I’ll go back to the guy with the shirt. All right. So that was a change he implemented. And so how would that be anchored in the culture? Well, job descriptions would include uniforms must be worn. Employee handbooks would include how uniforms must be worn. And then when new people come on board, they never even knew that there was a change, that a guy got fired over, because this is how it’s always been for them. And that’s anchoring the change. Now, once again, there’s lots more details involved in all of this. If you really want some expert advice, I strongly encourage you to look up Kotter and his eight-step so that you can get all of the details that are available. But let’s go on.
Now, what frequently happens is we’re not the ones who are making the change, the change is imposed upon us. And so what can we do when change is imposed upon us, especially if we’re one of those people who, I’m not going to like it, I already know. Well, let’s go to the next slide and see.
First of all, one of the things that typically happens to us when something happens is we go into a denial stage. And so if this looks like the stages of grief, then you are correct. Stages of change is just like stages of grief. One of the reasons for that is we do go through a grieving process when there is a change. Some people go through it longer than others do. And so that’s one of the things when the whole pandemic hit and so we had all this massive change that was uncertain and we didn’t know what was happening and all of that. I watched a video by a psychologist who was talking about if you’re feeling really unsettled and of course, we’re all feeling unsettled, but especially unsettled, maybe you need to recognize that you’re grieving. You’re grieving the life you used to have because you don’t have it right now anymore. And it’s important to recognize it so that we can do something about it. So we tend to, somebody says, “Yeah, we’re going to make this change.” And we go, “Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it. They always talk about change and nothing ever happens.” And so that’s a very normal stage. And then we get mad. “Why? Why do we have to have a change? What’s wrong with the way we’re doing it? I think it’s perfectly fine. I’m the one who made this change in the first place, and now you’re telling me something’s wrong with it?” And then exploration and acceptance. “OK, well, maybe this change won’t be so bad after all.” And “Well, I guess I better get on board because if I don’t, I’m going to get fired and I don’t want that.” And then commitment. And commitment usually goes, “Wow, actually this is much better this way.” And so, again, that’s exactly what happened with my mom. After she learned how to use that computer, she was telling people how great it is to have computers to place your orders, and you just push one button and your order goes to the bar and goes to the line and goes to dessert. And it’s so fabulous in every way. All right. Now not everybody ends up making that kind of commitment, but you can help yourself through this. And so this is when change is imposed upon you. You’re not doing this for anyone, you’re doing this for yourself. And so recognize you might be going, “i, I don’t like this. I don’t want this. I hate everything about this.” And then you’ll recognize you’re going to get through that phase and then begin to help yourself get through that phase by exploring, “Well, how might this be a good thing for me? How might I benefit from this? What are some opportunities that are now available that weren’t available before?” And then make that commitment because change is going to be change. And if you don’t get on board, you might be left behind. Now, I’ll give you another personal example of this. I’m very close with a brother and his wife, and they decided they were moving out of town. Now, they had talked about it for a while. And so when they start talking about I go, “Yeah, we’ll see, they’ve been talking about this for a while. It’ll never happen.” And then they moved out of town and I was mad. And you could tell I was mad every time I talked about them, every time I talked to them. But I never talked about the fact that I was mad that they left. I was just mad about everything else. And then exploration and acceptance. I began to understand that. All right. Well, they are moved, but where did they move to? Where they moved to the coast. And when you live in the valley, the coast is the place you go to on purpose. And so then I realized, “Oh, my gosh, I have a beach house now. I can go there any time I want to. All right.
I’m glad they made that move.” And so that’s how you work your way through it. And then the other thing that you can do is a self-assessment. And when change is imposed upon you, it’s important to self-assess. Do I have the knowledge, skills, and abilities for this change? And if I don’t, what am I going to do to make sure that I do have the knowledge, skills, and abilities? And if I’m not willing to get the knowledge, skills, and abilities or I think that I can’t, then what am I going to do next? And this is what happened to me also. I used to work for an organization. I was hired to train people and then after a while, they changed my job. Can employers do that? Yes, they can. They can say we hired you for this, but we don’t need you for this. We need you for that. And so my job changed and I did not have the knowledge or the skills or the natural abilities to do this new job. And so recognizing that and recognizing I really didn’t want to have to do the work in order to be proficient at this job. Recognizing that, what did I do? I left the job. Now, I’m not encouraging you to leave jobs, but after the self-assessment, I realized I was not going to be successful in this new position. And instead of realizing over and over and over, I just did not have what it took to be successful there. I found something else. And what I found was Worklogic HR, which has been wonderful over the last eight years. So sometimes that change, that leap, that cutting ties, is very scary. But, sometimes that self-assessment can help you understand what you need to do next. So hopefully I’ve given you some information on what you can do to encourage change in your professional life and your personal life and to accept and manage change when it is imposed upon you. That’s the information that I have for you, except to say change is inevitable. So choose wisely on what you’re going to do with it.
Thank you, Robin. I’m going to move on to the next slide here so you guys can all see the instructions to submit your questions. And it looks like we do have a question here: does personality style have an impact on how people react to change?
Yeah, and I mentioned that frequently through this, to a certain degree, but it definitely does. Is that what I have talked about a lot with the webinars, is the DISC personality profile and a couple of those personality styles, the dominant and the initiator, they tend to like change and they’re the ones who are imposing change on other people. And then the other personalities, the steady satisfiers and the conscientious critics, usually they very much like the status quo and they don’t like change. They just like life to be very predictable. And once they have their routine, they want to stick to the routine.
And once they’ve got the plan, they want to stick to the plan. And so personality certainly has an impact on everything about us, including how we react to change and how we initiate change as well. So, yeah, and so that’s one of the things to recognize is that when you’re hearing about the different ways that people react to be able to recognize yourself in those descriptions because sometimes people see us differently than how we see ourselves. And we might be thinking, “I’m not a Debbie Downer, I’m not a resistor to change. I’m not any of those things.” But it really is important to get a good self- assessment on how you react to these things so that you can do things about it that help you with the change and so that people don’t make employment decisions about you that you will not like.
All right, well, that’s actually all the questions we have for today, I think we might just give you guys a few minutes back in your day. If you do have any questions, just email us at webinarHRhelp@vensure.com and we will get those answered for you. And please join us next week. We’ll be talking about some legal and ethical aspects of supervision. It’ll be the same time, same place. And if you subscribed and registered to this webinar, you’ll automatically be signed up for the next one in the series. So I hope to see you all there. Thank you, Robin. And we will see you all next time.
Thank you, Emmet.