A Change in AttitudeUsing the “change curve” to understand an employee’s emotional state – and when they’re most likely to use social media to convey it.
Businesses are always undergoing change – it’s a given. During that period of change, each employee will take a different length of time to adapt, and will go about making those changes in different ways.
Employers can help staff shift their approach to work by recognising where they stand emotionally, and understanding the “change curve” can swing a disgruntled employee from being angry about the changes to becoming a company ambassador.
Imagine a long-serving employee has been working the same way for five years. Suddenly, the company undergoes a massive shift – whether it is expanding globally, cutting headcount or implementing new technologies – and a directive comes from above its work processes are to change, along with the employee’s work habits.
At this point, Andrew Thomas, regional managing director at Ogilvy, says an employee might start to feel unhappy.
“Emotionally, I might feel misaligned with what the company wants to do, and I feel they don’t know how hard I have been working up to this point,” he says.
This emotional state is reflected on the change curve in the “anger” box, where an employee feels most disengaged.
To shift an employee’s attitude into the “commitment” box, they must go through an “acceptance” phase where they begin to embrace the idea of change and begin to want to be an ambassador for that change. At both points on the curve, this is where someone is most likely to use social media to vent.
“In that moment of emotional, ‘I’m going to tweet this’, these are the two stages at which I’m going to do it,” Thomas says.
This could be a negative message while they’re still sitting in the “anger” box or a positive message once they have reached the “ambassador” stage.
Either way, staff are going to use social media to communicate how they are feeling.
“This will happen and there’s nothing that will change that,” Thomas says.
“But you need to make sure you know about it as a company and make sure there is clarity and authenticity around social culture as an organisation. “This will let employees know how you expect them to behave online.”
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