During the coronavirus pandemic, organizations all over the world are releasing statements as a contingency response to the situation. It is important that senior management is prepared to answer any questions or queries that arise.
When leaders are not prepared to address concerns in an appropriate manner, it might lead to an increase in people’s uncertainty, fear, stress, and anxiety during such a tough time. This would only lead to more confusion, chaos, frustration, and mistakes which would reduce motivation levels, employee engagement, and productivity even when every employee is trying hard to work from home.
All these questions have a particular pattern and senior management with their experience and expertise can prepare for them. The five stages include
- Information concerns
When you’re confronted with something new, the first reaction is to gain as much information as possible. People want to know what brought about this change, how long will it last, what effects will it have on society, etc.
If you’re passing on any official statement, it is normal for your employees, customers, and vendors to have information concerns. Address them in the most adequate manner. People don’t want to be sold on the proposed change they want details about it and need to understand what is being proposed and how it can be accomplished.
- Personal concerns
Once all the information is in place, the next response is personal – how will the change impact people on an individual level, how will I work in the new ways, will I have time to balance work and life, and who can I turn to for help, etc. are some of the most common personal concerns. People with personal concerns want to know how the change will impact them and they also look for reassurance that implementing this change will be a success.
- Implementation concerns
At this stage, the primary focus is to implement change and make sure it is accomplished. People want to know what challenges, roadblocks, and barriers can surface. They also have concerns about the availability of resources, support, and tools needed to successfully implement this change.
- Impact concerns
In the impact stage, the change has ‘gone live and people want to know whether it is working for the good for them as an individual, for their team, and for their organization on the whole. They want to know is it worth the effort and people get more focused on results at this stage.
- Refinement concerns
At this stage, people want to know that they’ve reached a tipping point and can see that the change was a success. They also need constant reassurance that with the refinement of processes, change will be valued and bring a positive modification.
It is important that leaders are provided with change management training so that they can discuss with the audience what change is, how it will be implemented, what is the collaborative plan, and how can this change be strengthened at various levels. They need to –
- Surface challenges sooner
- Build a robust change leadership capability for future
- Achieve better results, a faster
These are some steps that senior managers should keep in mind. While the world is battling coronavirus at personal and professional levels, it is important to stay united.