The only constant in business is change. When a business goes through change the people within the business will go through a transition. During the change and transitions there will be casualties and survivors. Good change management will minimise the disruption of change and enable safer passage through the transitions for staff. The easiest thing with change is getting it wrong. So many businesses get it wrong, so quickly, and so effectively.
A business I’m aware of, but do not work with, were having issues with staff retention and were potentially thinking of reducing three teams down to two. The smallest team was probably the team likely to be absorbed into one of the larger teams. Rumours began to circulate to the effect, but no clear direction had yet been giving from management.
A meeting was called involving staff from the smaller team and senior managers. One may expect that the purpose of the meeting may be to offer some reassurance, or to consult on thoughts and opinions, or at least to present reason why a change may potentially be coming pending a period of consultation. Unfortunately, the preferred approach was to indicate that significant change was coming (but no timescales provided), shift patterns would change, and that the team will definitely be located in a different town (but which town had not yet been decided).
Unsurprisingly, this bombshell of uncertainty was received with absolute disbelief and infuriated the staff.
75% of the staff who attended that meeting are now in the process of leaving the company.
They are all casualties of change. These casualties could have easily been minimised with a better approach to stakeholder management and appreciation of change management techniques.