Sunday, June 20, 2021
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Fear, uncertainty and personality clashes follow change in businesses large and small.

Sneaking into the consciousness of the business press during this week’s election fever was an announcement that two large US airlines are to merge, United and Continental Airlines.

The national press covers the financial issues and concerns about cuts and redundancies but for the people on the ground working for these airlines this change will bring out sides of their characters many would prefer were left dormant.

Change for many is stressful and frightening, leading to paranoia, jealousy, bullying, negativity or even rebellion, none of which are positive contributions to a business environment and can manifest itself at all levels from cleaners to senior management in businesses large and small and sometimes in the most unlikely of people.

With careful management this impact can be minimised. Clear, honest, timely communication of the matters which affect people directly can go a long way in building trust. Investors in People (IIP) in particular tackles the need for people to feel valued by being included in the decisions which are being made in the interest of their working lives. The ISO management standards 9001 and 14001 also specify the need for staff to have a clear understanding of the businesses objectives in addition to their personal ones.

By adopting an open, honest communication style, business leaders could reap great benefits which go way beyond certificates on walls in the form of improved moral and better reaction to change. In business as well as politics, we all respond better to a leader we can trust.