Did you recently integrate a new employee? You saw him being challenged with your processes, IT, even some of your employees' personality traits. Even when there is a great "FIT", the employee might leave if the integration is harsh for him. Sometimes entering a new company culture can be disturbing.
As a decision-maker, your role is to understand the emotions your new employee might be experiencing to help smooth his/her integration. Doing thishas a ripple effect and many benefits: an employee is a great brand ambassador as well as a long-term colleague.
Three years ago, I trained with the Organizational Change Consultant and Tel Aviv University alumni Michal Doktor. Michal introduced me to the Kubler-Ross Change Curve to understand cultural shock.
The Kubler-Ross Change Curve will help you understand the emotional phases that your employee might experience when going through a change.
Every organization should support their employees who are experiencing transitions or changes. These individual transformations can be traumatic and may involve a lot of power loss and prestige issues. The easier it is for the employees to move along on their journey, the easier would it be for the organization to move towards success. Supporting the employees has a positive impact on the success rate and overall profits of the company.
The Change Curve in business is a powerful model that can help one understand and deal with changes and personal transitions. It helps fathom how one will react to change and how to provide support during the process of change.
Here are the steps of the Kubler-Ross Change Curve applied to a business environment:
Step 1 – This is the stage at which the new employee may be in a position of shock. This stage demands communication so that employees can have a full knowledge of their environment and can have their questions answered. Employers must try not to overwhelm the employees with a lot of information at once . They should adapt the disclosure of the information to the tasks slowly and gradually.
Step 2 – The employee is now in a comfort zone for a while and knowing that they need to learn, change and adapt to new processes may create discomfort. This stage has to be managed carefullyby management and organizations as some employees tend to vent their frustration andSpread a negative social climate within the organization. To avoid it, a careful planning must be done in advance. Clear communication and support should still be the focus at this step
Step 3 – When the employee finally understands the change and realize how they must adapt to new situations and circumstances, they may try to find the best possible scenario for them to fit in and adapt to. A company cannot rush its employees to learn quickly or adapt to changes fast. A 100% productivity rate cannot be the goal during this phase.
Step 4 – The learning phase may not always be a very happy and comfortable zone for most employees in the workplace. This phase could result in low energies in the workplace due to low morale and excitement. It is important for the management to understand that this phase is not easy for the workforce either.
Step 5 – The employee finally begins to embrace the change, accept the situation and start building new hopes and aspirations. He is showing improvements now, and the overall productivity begins to improve.
Let us know about your thoughts!
Source: Understanding the Kubler Ross Change Curve, Cleverism. [online resource, blog article from Anastasia, 2015]