Did you recently integrate a new employee? You saw him being challenged with your processes, IT, even some of your employee's personality traits. We usually recruit for skills and we lay off for personality. Even when there is a great "FIT", the employee might leave if the integration is harsh for him. Sometimes entering a new company culture might be considered as a shock.
As a decision-maker or member of the executive, your role is to understand the emotions your new employee might go through to help smooth his integration. It has a ripple effect and many benefits: a talent is a great brand ambassador as well as a long-term efficient colleague. Two years and a half ago, when I decided to move to Tel Aviv from Montreal, I train with the Organizational Change Consultant and Tel Aviv University graduate Michal Doktor.
Michal introduces us to the Kubler-Ross Change Curve to understand cultural chock and how to adapt while changing countries. A huge change for me as I never lived in the middle-east with over-the-top goals as learning Hebrew in less than a year while starting my consulting practice OLAM Executive Search (in Hebrew it means "the world").
Let's emphasize its relevance to the business world.
The Kubler-Ross Change Curve will help you to understand the emotional phases that your employee might have when going through change.
Every organization needs to support the employees in the process of making 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 will it be for the organization to move towards success.
Thus, this impacts the success rate and overall profits experienced by the company. The Change Curve in business is thus a powerful model that can help one understand and deal with changes and personal transitions. It helps to fathom how one will react to change and how to provide support during the process of change.
Let’s understand the model by dividing it into the various steps of the Kubler-Ross Model:
Step 1 – This is the stage at which the new employee may be in a position of shock. This stage demands communication so that employee can have full knowledge and can have their questions answered. Employers must make it a point to avoid overwhelming the employees with a lot of information in one go and give it slowly and gradually.
Step 2 – The new employee is now in a comfort zone for so long and knowing that they need to learn, change and adapt may make them angry. This stage has to be managed very sensibly by managements and organizations because some employees tend to vent their anger a little too harshly. This could create chaos and to avoid it, careful planning must be done in advance. Clear communication and support should still be the focus for organizations at this level as well.
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 employees to learn quickly or adapt to changes fast. It cannot expect 100% productivity during this phase.
Step 4 – 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 at 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 as well.
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 your thoughts!
Source: Understanding the Kubler Ross Change Curve, Cleverism. [online resource, blog article from Anastasia, 2015]