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Employees are more overwhelmed by company transformations than executives. Here’s why.

Every job comes with its share of stress. (Is it even a job otherwise?) But when company transformations happen, the resulting stress tends to impact some people more than others.

For AVADO’s latest White Paper, we surveyed more than 2,200 American professionals, including 350 C-Suite executives and 350 Human Resources professionals. Along the way, we learned that almost one-third of surveyed employees felt overwhelmed when experiencing a reorganization — far more than their C-suite counterparts.

We also discovered at least three major reasons for this stress differential.

 1. Nearly half the employees surveyed endured a reorganization in the past five years, but only 35 percent of C-suite executives experienced a reorganization in the same span

This not only suggests that executives aren’t always leading a transformation based on recent experience, but also explains why fewer professionals on the C-suite level are living with the stress that come with a company reorganization.

Employees also more frequently reported feeling vulnerable during this kind of structural overhaul.

It makes sense, if you think about it: C-suite executives not only have the power to make or contribute to the decisions that result in the changes they’ll face, they also have more money and resources to handle that level of adversity. Employees, however, are at the mercy of their supervisors, and have to fend for themselves with new responsibilities.

And that’s assuming they’re ready to handle those obligations.

2. Nearly half the employees polled said they didn’t feel fully skilled and tooled to succeed at their jobs

Imagine being told to take on a new role and not feeling prepared to do everything required of you. Unfortunately, for every other employee we surveyed — including those who had completed training recently — that’s a reality rather than a hypothesis.

It’s less about the intentions at the C-suite level — as all good executives want their employees to be prepared — and more about prioritization and resources. Almost half the surveyed employees didn’t feel their managers prioritized training during reorganization, and nearly 60 percent didn’t believe superiors delivered the required technology and tools to make training worthwhile.

We wouldn’t expect a rookie Major League Baseball player to play in the World Series without a bat or a glove. We couldn’t dare condone a construction worker walking onto a site without a hard hat. So why do we expect employees with new responsibilities to just sort of figure it out?

3. Employees may not speak up at work about how poorly they’ve been trained — but they were plenty comfortable venting about that to AVADO

This wasn’t just complaining for the sake of complaining, either. Employees shared feedback that was every bit as constructive as it was biting. One survey respondent was just flat-out miserable with training results, stating, “I am currently tasked with a project that I was never properly trained for, and I am suffering for it.”

Another employee couldn’t have been terribly confident, prepared or productive after training with a manager who reportedly was “so busy, he just sat me down at a computer, said ‘Learn,’ then left.”

Noted a third professional, “More training and less of a ‘throw them in the deep end’ mentality would go a long way to improving the morale.” We couldn’t agree more.

Still anxious about all of this? Stop squeezing your stress ball — AVADO has the solution, providing comprehensive training to help all employees navigate transformation with confidence and the skills they need to succeed.

Niall McKinney

Niall McKinney

Posted July 16, 2019