People don't fear change- they fear change without context.

Change management is a bigger part of the necessary human resource tool kit these days. Organizations are faced with the need to do more with less or evolve to meet the increasingly complex needs of their clients. Today's business world is becoming increasingly more rapid in terms of the need for nimble, flexible business practices and organizations need to move the pieces of their organization to maximize efficiency, and ultimately profitability. 

A good change leader never thinks, “Why are these people acting so badly? They must be bad people.” A change leader thinks “How can I set up a situation that brings out the good in these people?”.
— Chip Heath, author - Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

The problem is getting your people on board- buying into the idea that a change is something that will benefit their customers, their colleagues and themselves. The common misconception is that employees fear change, and that it's that fear that ultimately dooms a strong change management plan. In our experience, we find that people don't fear the change itself, but rather they fear change without the context to understand why the change is happening. If you can't articulate to your people in a way that they are able to understand, your change plan will be stuck in a constant state of churn, with no movement or momentum to pull your people through to the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Above is what a traditional change management process looks like, with the usual factors, peaks and valleys that most organization's experience when instilling a change that impacts employee engagement and performance. The problem that is most currently experienced with organizations when going through a change process is the lack of understanding that a full-scale people plan needs to accompany the change. Even when your employees are fully engaged and consulted in the process - organizations commonly spend too much time in the third phase of the change management level, either trying to continue the momentum necessary to move out of a position of uncertainty or quelling the growing opposition that this change was positive one for the organization or its people. 

the valley of tears

This happens so much within organizational change processes, that this third stage has taken on a different name in HR circles - some call it "the valley of tears", a place where people are emotionally and physically spent- trying to make their workplace better for themselves and their colleagues.  Employees are either unable to sustain the demands put on them or incapable of understanding why the reward of the change is worth the cost to the people around them.  And sadly, even if the change is successful and you reach the almighty 4th level of change management, some of your employees may harbour resentment over the impact of their voyage through the valley of tears. Even if you survive the change process, your chances of sustaining that change teeter on a very thin thread. 

we see a different path

Through the use of organizational psychology methodology and a strong people plan that includes a pre and post- change evaluation and team building event, Affective Consulting can make the change management roller coaster a whole lot less terrifying. 

We believe that the best way to impact a change management cycle is to not only involve employees in the process, but do so in a way that leverages their natural abilities and mitigates their resistance to change. One of the best methods for ensuring the implementation of a successful change management process is to layer a people management plan over the top of the process. The Affective Change Management Model allows us to use the Kolbe Index as a way of integrating organizational psychology into the change cycle so that your organization can reduce time to implement change, but also successfully launch newly formed teams through a greater strategic clarity and organizational purpose. 

Assess Your employees and communicate change effectively

There are many assessment tools out there that can give you a better sense of your employees strengths and weaknesses, but the Kolbe A™ Index is the only tool that can measure your team's instincts and drivers in a way that will not only assist you in determining your overall organizational strength, but how to best engage your employees through the change process. 

An individual employee's reaction to a change management process may be impacted by a number of different factors - some may require a deeper level of understanding of the process, while others may want to know the bigger picture end result. Some may want to dig in and get involved, while others may need a detailed plan of the process itself to feel comfortable. By using the Four Action Modes® identified within each individual employee Kolbe A™ Index, Affective Consulting partners can gain a greater understanding of which instinctive mode of operation individual employees may instinctually strive in, and be able to assist organizations tailor communications and overall change plans that best meet the needs of the individual employee.

For example, an employee initiating in Quick Start will be instinctively more comfortable with risk and uncertainty, and will need the bigger picture of the change to get involved. Someone who may instinctually initiate in Fact Finder will need more detail and time to gather his/ her thoughts to fully understand the impacts before they buy in. Understanding the different needs of these and other action modes within your employees can ultimately determine your ability to deliver the kind information necessary to engage your employees successfully.

Assessing and transitioning employees into new roles

Leveraging those same instinctual methods of operation that you use to determine how to engage your employees through a change can also assist you in better understanding how successful your teams will adapt to a new organizational design, should one be required. Affective Consulting partners can show you how individual members may react to each other, which groups may need some additional support and even which groups may need additional instincts on their team to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Of course, transition for some employees through change management could ultimately mean a transition out of the organization as well. Affective Consulting can assist with this process as well and help exiting employees better understand their abilities as they relate to that next employment opportunity. 

Team Building During and after the change has taken hold

Building teams takes time. Time to establish an understanding of who each of the new players are, how they work and what each member brings to the table is an important part of the process, but so is establishing trust and building empathy for one another. 

Through a solid foundation of understanding instinctual methods of operation, employees brought together under new organizational designs can help cut through some of the initial phases of doubt and misunderstanding and start relationships from a point of acceptance and inclusion for all. 

The Affective Change Management Process helps organizations address a crucial missing step in the traditional change management process by helping bring a team together during and after the change has occurred to ensure that there is opportunity to explore new team dynamics, discover strengths and address any concerns in an open and safe environment facilitated by an Affective Consulting Partner.