Even Creative People Don’t Like Change

Change in the workplace may be inevitable, but we don’t have to like it. While change often brings good things in the long run, in the short term it usually evokes a feeling of confusion and uncertainty. This is why change is greeted with wariness by most workers – even ones who make their living being agents of change.

Specialist staffing firm The Creative Group and AIGA recently polled creative professionals on their attitudes toward changes within their organizations, and found that it can be a disempowering, even demoralizing experience for workers if not handled carefully.

For instance, the majority of the creative pros polled (53%) felt that employees weren’t sufficiently involved in implementing change. Many of them feel that changes are decided by senior managers, then imposed on everyone in the organization.

Another majority (51%) said that changes in internal processes and procedures caused the most consternation for employees, followed by staff changes (48 percent) and new business directions (37 percent).

However, it’s also clear that workers want to keep up with the changes taking place in their industries: Another complaint many workers have is that their employers aren’t giving them adequate training and information to stay abreast of change, and to stay competitive in their careers.

These findings should wake senior managers up to a simple reality: employees are stakeholders in the organization, not just worker bees. For change to be implemented successfully, therefore, employees should be part of the process from the very start.

And with so many employers now complaining that they have trouble finding, or keeping, talented employees, it’s amazing to see so many employees complaining about a lack of ongoing training.

The future belongs to organizations that master the process of change. Managers realize this, but many seem to have trouble understanding that a “change friendly” organization is not just one that hires clever consultants, or has future-thinking senior managers. To master change, organizations need to empower people at all levels.

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