Change is a fact of life and we live in times that are challenging and there is often a fast pace that we have to learn to manage personally, with our families, socially and in the workplace. For some, change can be seen as a challenge, whereas for others who have little control over the events, it can be a difficult time triggering increased tension and uncertainty which could lead to stress. Below are some resources in place which can assist in effectively managing and coping with change and the challenges it brings.
Employers have a vital role at times of organisational change as it is more important than ever to keep their workforce informed about what is happening and to identify sources of support.
Change can be chosen, emergent or imposed and people express such changes in different ways; but research has shown that there is a pattern which people go through, starting with shock and disbelief. This pattern is called the "cycle of grief". Please see the attachment below for further information. Leaders of change need to understand this cycle to ensure they implement appropriate interventions. It is also important realise that the cycle is not linear, people move back and forward through the cycle. Furthermore, staff will react differently and have an individual response.
There is no automatic or quick answer to grief and it helps to express the feelings that well up inside us. Many people are afraid to talk to us when we experience change because they feel they will upset us. Most people do not realise that we want and need to talk about change. It is important to find good listeners. LCC provide counseling and support for its employees through Amica.
The HSE defines stress as "The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work". Further guidance of the management standards which include the demands, control, support, relationships, role and change within organisations, as well as covering other aspects of stress such as causes of stress, signs and symptoms, work related stress and mental health and dealing with personal issues, please click on the HSE link above.
Undue stress/pressures can also lead to work related stress. Balancing the demands and pressures placed on you (i.e, job requirements) with the skills and knowledge (i.e, your capabilities), example, if an individual is given a tight deadline on a project they feel they have neither the skills nor ability to do well, they may begin to feel undue stress/pressure.
For Leicester City Council employees there is a stress management policy which contains guidance, information and forms, to assist management and employees. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stress analysis tool documents are also included as well as Risk Assessments, stress management in the workplace. For managers Stress awareness training as wells as a stress management motivational briefings are available. Also included is Amica, Occupational Health which is provided to LCC by Health Management Limited (HML) providing advice on health matters, such as healthy eating, smoking, drinking, back pain, travel advice, health at work and more, in addition, HML produce monthly articles, giving guidance on specified topics which will be available on the health matters Insite page. The site contains lots of interesting information and guidance on a wide range of health matters, not just work related ones. These include healthy eating, fitness, smoking, drinking, travel advice, back problems, preventing illness, health at work, and links to other sites.
The NHS choices website gives information on stress treatments, providing advice on techniques for managing stress and resources for preventing stress.
Other useful links:
NHS choices links:
other external links which may be useful include: