In talking to someone last week they described the way we’ve all reacted the economic pressures as similar to the process of grieving. It really struck a cord with me and I’ve been thinking about it since.
Although I think we all said at some time or other “this can’t last” we were still caught unawares when the sh*t hit the fan. For each of us there have been different moments of realisation – the impact on our bank accounts, revelations from the banks, uncertainty, political denial or the affects on friends and family.
So let’s take a look at what we’ve being facing – SARA – shock, anger, rejection and acceptance. Firstly, we face shock. For many this is disabling and while others continue as normal, unable to believe what has happened. Then Anger – we may have taken our anger out on others, sabotaged ourselves or even on the authorities. Rejection indicates we don’t believe it is really as bad as everyone says, it’s a product of the media or I have been sensible and I won’t be affected. And finally we come to Acceptance; finally face reality and start to move on.
Acceptance, I think, is where people are starting to get to now. Understanding that the way we live has changed and that change can only come about through each of us.
I suppose I choose to write about this because I believe we all have a responsibility to help each other through this. Think about those you work with – are you an employer, supervisor or manager? Then you have probably seen some of these reactions.
And many businesses are facing challenges and have to react with changes to the business model often resulting in redundancies. In the emerging business strategy it is important to remember people, who’ve been described by companies as “our greatest asset”, and recognise the impact on those who may be leaving employment and those staying. Both face uncertainty, worry and change.
How can you help people cope?
• Encourage open communication
• Give regular updates even if there is nothing new to say
• Put yourself in their shoes & understand their priorities
• Support your team – talk together & more importantly listen
• Be flexible
• Recognise people are facing change and give them time to adapt
I believe there are excellent companies out there but many are not seeing the big picture and taking care of their staff. We will come through this cycle and many businesses will have damaged their reputation and trust.