How leaders can influence the psychological well-being of employees affected by change


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In today’s global business environment, we are witnessing a rapid increase in the psychological strategies of organizational leaders to manage the psychological well-being of employees. As organizations continue to prioritize digital transformations, it is increasingly difficult for leaders to create support systems to help guide individuals through change.

Humans will experience some form of resistance in their behavioral, emotional, and cognitive state upon initial notification of the change. Examples of these types of resistance are logical and rational, psychological, emotional and sociological. The most common constituents of these types of resistance are the time it takes to adapt and relearn, the possibility of less desirable conditions, low tolerance for change, and fear of the unknown. Leaders of organizations have borne the burden of trying to identify the best education systems to effectively guide individuals through change. Which leads to the open question of how can leaders positively influence the psychological (behavioral, emotional and cognitive) well-being of employees affected by the change?

Leverage employee surveys to capture hearts and minds

The first step for leadership to improve the psychological well-being of individuals is first to diagnose what are the perceptions, behaviors and emotions vis-à-vis current or future change. The most popular diagnostic tool for measuring employee behaviors and emotions is the Employee Pulse Survey. This survey provides quantitative and qualitative data for leadership to identify commonalities in perceptions and behaviors at an empirical and organizational level.

After identifying the current state of employees, management can begin to formulate a series of actionable elements to help alleviate resistance and improve employee morale and productivity. The activities resulting from this survey are educational forums, focus groups, team meetings and one-on-one meetings. The goal of these activities is for leadership to tap into the hearts and minds of individuals on an instinctive level and exhibit high levels of empathy and authenticity, which will enable individuals to break down barriers and discuss of their true feelings in a fearless environment.

Improve trust and vulnerability

The second step for leaders to have a positive impact on employee well-being is to build trust and relationship in the relationship. Often, leaders ignore that vulnerability and trust require positive synergies from the individuals affected by change. Passing on these attributes not only unlocks deeper and more fruitful conversations, but can also reduce resistance and improve employee buy-in and engagement.

These results don’t happen overnight, and it’s important that leaders are always intentional in fostering a strong relationship with employees. Trust and vulnerability are key attributes that leadership must possess to promote positive synergies between employee impact through change. The last step for leaders to positively influence the psychological well-being of employees is to put in place sustainable mechanisms.

Sustainable strengthening mechanisms

For leaders to create long-term, sustainable change, they must include celebrating short-term wins, rewards and recognition, management feedback, corrective actions, and visible performance measures. Each of these elements plays a critical role in influencing the psychological well-being of employees affected by change. In one form or another, each element harnesses the perceived benefits (intrinsically and extrinsically) of the change.

Leaders must continue to adopt other forms of empowerment mechanisms that allow their organizations to thrive through change and reduce individual resistance. It is not enough for leaders to communicate the change and just hope that individuals are immediately accepted. Leaders should begin to include in their skills the expansion of interpersonal skills (receptivity to active listening, patience and empathy) to identify individual resistance at an empirical and organizational level. level. These skills will help leaders leverage the employee survey to develop actionable elements that lead to positive synergies (psychological well-being) and long-term sustainable change.

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