Social skills and workplace ch-ch-changes
September 28, 2013 1:38 PM Subscribe
Very soon, I will be in a position where I will need to help lead a major change in the workplace, and one where many of the people I work with will be unhappy. How do I do this?
posted by Ms. Toad to human relations (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Without revealing too many details, I'm going to be involved in a major shuffle of positions in my workplace. This change will benefit my department, but it means dissolving another department and moving some of the staff over to mine. This is also going to mean a major shift in responsibilities of that staff. Of course, there is a battle of territories going on, and the staff that are moving are unhappy, even though they understand that this is a done deal.
I know that I will be involved in a number of discussions where I need to communicate to the new staff that they will need to shrink and re-think their priorities and allegiance to the old department. I am not their boss - I am more like a collaborator, with whom we are figuring this all out together. But, they need to collaborate with me to meet my department's goals.
I am bad at these kinds of conversations. I tend to be very direct and frank, and am not very good at the politicking often needed in such situations. I also get a bit impatient and want things to move forward quickly, especially when it seems clear that people are hanging on to things that just have no place in the new environment. I also value honesty and don't want to lead people on to expect that they will be able to keep part of the old department when in reality they won't.
I want to be able to communicate that I support and appreciate these staff and want to work together to our mutual benefit, while also being clear that things will not be the same as they were, and that they need to let go of some of what they previously held dear in their jobs.
Does anyone have any advice or can you point me to any helpful resources on navigating such major workplace changes, and especially handling interpersonal conversations? This is an academic setting, if that makes a difference.