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Deal With Stress and Deal With Change at the Same Time
We are all required to cope with change, whether in our personal life or working life, and we all react differently. Changes to our working life often cause more stress, as sometimes, we can be made to feel changes are beyond our control, which can be damaging for many employees. For employees dealing with mental health issues, the effects can be overwhelming.
For change to be accepted with the least impact on employees, the way an organization presents and manages the change process will reduce stress or mental health effects. A process that accepts there will be psychological impact and has a change manager who can deal with this in his approach to colleagues can be the difference to the transition being extremely difficult or one with a manageable adjustment level for those with mental health issues.
What strategies are effective to support employees?
Deal with stress: Set the scene
Foster a general environment that expects change readily and shows that continual improvement in skills and abilities are to be expected as the environment, technology, and equipment changes develop. This strategy should be adopted from the interview right through training and ongoing as a regular dialogue between employees and senior management.
Do not dismiss the past
For those having a hard time adjusting and accepting change, acknowledging the past can make accepting a new future more easily managed for some. Dismissing the past can lead to demoralization and feeling unappreciated, not because that is the case, but because the “new” becomes all-encompassing to the change management team.
Share as much about the project as you can. Share the challenges faced, point out the pros and cons, and answer concerns before they are pointed out to you. If your team and colleagues understand the reasons for change, that you have understood the likely reluctance, and the reality of the decisions taken, but you are working to make the change in a way that supports them as positively as possible, you will receive a better response.
Use the past
It is unlikely that this is the first change experienced within the organization, so use past successes and lessons as reminders to the employees that whilst this is a different change, there have been successful changes for them before. Aim to remove the need for anxiety by offering security from something they have experienced before.
Deal with stress: steady as you go
Whilst you may feel that it is easier to do the whole process in one go, this may be true from a practical point of view, but often a step at a time, giving time for it to settle can be easier for the nerves.
How to deliver change and minimize stress
Effective communication courses can help you explore different ways of delivering your message, which, combined with the strategies you’ll learn when becoming a compassionate communicator, can help you create a change management process to support all employees, particularly those suffering from stress mental health issues.
Acas offers support around mental health, centering on creating an open environment. Supporting people through change effectively with an open door policy so that stress and worry can be discussed could lead to effective change without excessive stress and a stronger working relationship between senior management and the teams they lead.