Those in leadership are more optimistic about change than managers and workers.
Keep perspective in mind when considering how the workplace has transformed in the past few years and how it is constantly evolving. Your view of what's happening could significantly differ from another employee's.
In its recent survey of 325 US professionals about changes in the workplace in 2022, Notion Consulting uncovered discrepancies in how leadership, people managers, and employees view the change journey. The Change Report 2022: A Study of Attitudes, Perception, and Impact of Workplace Change found that while most in leadership positions were optimistic about change, employees were more skeptical. Three-quarters of C-suite executives are fully committed and will endorse change, while half of individual contributors will question and challenge the change. Most senior leaders and people managers are excited but not equipped with the data to embrace the change. Three percent of employees even expressed a desire to leave their job.
Three-quarters of the workforce reported experiencing at least three major changes in the previous 12 months, including getting a new leader or manager; undergoing a change in processes or procedures; using a new technical system; or having or undergoing a new culture, team, product, merger, workplace, or reorganization or being laid off. One in 10 employees endured at least 10 of those major changes.
The survey found that 40 percent of organizations are not meeting business objectives during times of change. That's reflected in employees giving companies an average B rating on the organizations' success with change, while the C-suite handed out an A.
"Our latest study reinforces what we tell all our clients: in order to drive successful transformation, leadership must understand that change is about people—their experiences, their behaviors, and their mindsets," says Christine Andrukonis, founder and senior partner at Notion Consulting.
"Those who stay curious, open-minded, and empathetic will reap the benefits—or otherwise risk disengaging and even losing key talent and customers, and ultimately damage their bottom line. It's a delicate but meaningful balance," she adds.
To manage change, Notion Consulting advises employers to inform workers, answer questions, and help staff understand the impacts; keep communication transparent; offer training resources; provide job expectations; and ask for feedback. The report affirms: "Paying attention to these activities can boost success and improve the experience for employees."