chapter  4
31 Pages

The impact of change on people

Surviving employees go through a refractory or adjustment period that constrains their ability to embrace the ‘new’ organization and to perform their work in an optimal manner.

(Wyatt Company, 1993 Survey of Corporate Restructuring)

As is often said, managing change is not about managing change; it’s about managing people. Change does not take place in a vacuum and the effects of change on employees can be considerable. Of course, change has the potential to liberate individuals, provide opportunities for development and variety, the chance to take on new responsibilities and shine. Conversely, change can be very threatening to individuals, depending on the specific nature of the impact the change may have on them. In managing change it is helpful to bear in mind some of the possible ways in which change can produce damaging effects, so as to be able to mitigate these and aim to produce the context where the more positive aspects of change can bear fruit.