Change Fatigue – What is it?

Change Fatigue – What is it?

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Is there such a thing as “change fatigue”? In my opinion, there most certainly is!!! It’s that sense of dread that comes when another change is just around the corner.

I understand change is an important part of organisational growth. But I don’t understand why it is continually managed so poorly, with such negative impacts on both staff and the business. The purpose of change is to ensure currency and competitiveness in the market, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase revenue, it is not to create stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed employees.

Leaders sometimes unfairly equate change fatigue to resistance to change. Not true. People like stability (we are human right… not robots), but we can quickly adapt to change, if it is introduced properly. Resistance is the push back often experienced because of the uncertainty the change may have, which can create unfounded fear. Successful change management and staff engagement can usually help, however unfortunately, many leaders fail to address this… jeopardizing organisational success. A stressed and unhappy workforce leads to lost productivity, lack of competiveness in the market, and ultimately a drop in the bottom line.

Change fatigue is the product of poor leadership. Leaders often fear they are missing some essential strategy, positioning or concept, often driving the implementation of change so that they don’t get left behind in the competitive world we operate in. While I understand the need for change, too much change can result in confusion, disorganisation and lack of competence. People become frustrated with the constant loss of productivity, the expense and effort of packing, moving, ordering new telephones or changing numbers, inducting and orientating new bosses, losing team members, gaining team members and living in a state of continual confusion.

I accept that change is constant, but I don’t accept that it cannot be managed better. This is the one of the key challenges for leaders, who must operate in a world of constant change. Our ability to respond to change, ultimately determines our success or otherwise, in a highly competitive market place. So it pays to take the time to get it right!!!

Are you feeling the change fatigue or want to know more about this space? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Making the Move from Government to Commercial

Linda ParkerHave you recently taken a redundancy from the State Government and considering the move into a commercial organisation?

You are not alone.

In the current market more and more candidates are attempting the transition from the public sector to the private sector.

Unfortunately there is a ‘public servant’ myth, which can hinder your ability to even get an interview. So how do you convince the hiring manager of a successful blue chip organisation that you have what it takes to work in a fast paced environment?

Tips to bear in mind when presenting your application to a commercial organisation, or through a recruitment agency, is to highlight the ‘commercial’ aspects of your previous roles and have a clear plan in mind.

Do your research!! Going into an interview without any prior knowledge of the company and its operations or strategic vision is a sure fire way to not get the job!

In recent years, Government organisations have been recruiting candidates with commercial experience in order to change the culture and drive greater efficiencies and performance. This argument can be used to flip the public servant perception on its head.

Private sector employers who fail to recruit the most talented employees, and prejudice themselves against people with different career backgrounds are unintentionally exposing their own management weaknesses. Their inability to recognise that public sector workers have an enormous amount to offer suggests a lack of foresight on their part and can potentially make them appear narrow minded.

There are so many strengths that you can bring to a role in the private sector including your ability to manage change and varying levels of bureaucracy, not to mention multi-million dollar budgets!

Take the time to think about what you can offer, and sell it!

If you’re currently preparing your CV, or would just like to enhance your current one, this article from Business Insider offers some great advice on what to avoid putting in your resume.

Outplacement Services – A Good Investment or Money Wasted?

Recently I have been providing outplacement services to Queensland Government executives as part of the Queensland Government employee assistance program. For many years government jobs were considered untouchable, but government is no longer immune to the constricting economy, and they too have to make efficiencies while at the same time maintaining the services the community expects.

By the time many of us get to Executive level positions in government, we feel that we are institutionalised and are too proud to think that outplacement services will be of any benefit.

Well, let me be the first to tell you, those of us who have been employed in government for long periods of time (me included), have lost our mojo in terms of what the private sector market is looking for in a prospective employee.

My experience working with executives as part of the outplacement services has highlighted the barriers that they face, not only in terms of the outdated tools used to promote themselves in the employment market, their lack of personal self worth, but also their limited knowledge of the market.

You would be well advised to seek independent advice and support to help you transition into this market. As you could very well spend a lot of time barking up the wrong tree, especially if you use the resume you have always used in government. You could waste a lot of time and energy being upset with not getting that call, when you know you have all the right skills and experience. Not only will you get upset but it is also a blow to your already fragile self-esteem.

Outplacement services can assist you to to build your confidence and ability to sell yourself to prospective employers.

So take advantage of coaching and support outplacement services. Yes there may be a cost, but ask yourself the question – Are you and your career are worth the expense? It is these very services that will help you prepare yourself for the market and find those opportunities.

LinkedIn – what is this?  It’s a business tool to promote your qualifications, skills and experience. Many employers no longer advertise in the traditional newspaper or even on Seek. They are using LinkedIn – Recruiters are looking for candidates through this medium too. So get on board, or you may be missing valuable opportunities.  In this job market, opportunities are not to be missed.

Preparation is key.  Evaluate your options, identify your best opportunities, create an outstanding resume, use social media and learn to interview effectively.  This takes time, planning, commitment and effort on your part.

We are here to help you navigate your way through this new world of opportunity. Contact us to discuss career transition, psychological testing, career coaching, creating a red hot resume, using social media to find employment opportunities and tips for preparing for that dreaded interview.

Queensland IT Market Update

What a difference a couple of months make! It’s good to see some positivity returning to the Queensland IT market after a relatively quiet six month period following the state election in March this year. Whilst the market hasn’t yet returned to the busy times we saw during 2011 and the early part of 2012, it seems there is momentum building slowly across a number of organisations, with key projects requiring resources as we come into the traditionally quiet Christmas period. This bodes well for 2013, particularly as the State Government starts to undertake new projects following the results of the ICT Audit that it is close to finalising.

In a number of conversations with employers and candidates throughout the year, I have mentioned that I believe we will see significant growth in the market from around March next year. I still hold this belief after hearing QLD Government CIO, Peter Grant, speak at the ICT Industry Forum last week, where he mentioned the government’s plans for significant spending on ICT initiatives as we move into the New Year. This has a flow on effect for many private sector companies that are influenced by the spending, or lack of, by state and local government in Queensland.

So what does this mean for the ICT employment market? My expectation is that the need for ICT contractors will increase as these ICT projects begin. In the early months of 2013, we should see a steady increase in the number of contract roles, particularly Project Managers and Business Analysts. As the year continues, we should see growth across other areas as these projects ramp up their recruitment.

Despite what has been an up and down year for many, it is good to see some positive sentiment in the market. Good signs for the industry as we move into 2013!

Redundancy – The Worst Thing Ever or The Opportunity of a Life Time

Recently we have been subject to the headlines of significant job reductions being the focus of Queensland Government. More and more people are finding themselves faced with uncertainty and possibilities of redundancy.

Tempting as the money is, and your dream to go on a long vacation, away from the trials and tribulations of the work environment, reality is, the money only lasts for so long.  The commitment to a mortgage, school fees and ongoing costs means that most of us must continue to work.

So how do you make that transition from working in government or working in an organization that you have known forever to the world of the great unknown?

As frightening as this may be, a career transition can sometimes be a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to make positive change to your career. It all depends on how you approach it. Of course you can fight and resist change, and most of us do this for a period of time.  But how about working through this resistance and then allowing yourself to explore the open door ahead of you.

Take advantage of this moment in your life and honestly ask yourself, do I love what I do?  Whether you answer yes or no, it doesn’t matter as you have just been given a huge opportunity to make what might be the biggest change in your life. It is important to remember the skills you have gained within your career can be used anywhere, and that there are opportunities for the future.

It isn’t so much about the job but more about leaving what feels comfortable and what you know.  Taking you out of your comfort zone. It is exploring the unknown, which can make us hesitate when making a decision.

Why not take advantage of coaching and support outplacement services. Yes there may be a cost, but aren’t you worth it. It is these very services that will help you see this moment as an opportunity to review your career and take on new challenges. Lets face it, most of us would have been reluctant to embark upon this journey, while employed under the safety net of permanent employment.

Preparation is the key.  Evaluate your options, identify your best opportunities, create an outstanding resume, use social media and learn to interview effectively.  This takes time, planning, commitment and effort on your part. You cannot expect that this transition will occur without speed bumps on the way.

We are here to help you navigate your way through this new world of opportunity, contact us to discuss career transition psychological testing, career coaching, creating a red hot resume, using social media to find employment opportunities and tips for preparing for that dreaded interview.

Successful Hiring

Is near enough, good enough? I have noticed that there is a reasonably good candidate market out there at the moment with some real talent on offer. This I believe, has come about for several reasons, including the job cuts in government and the desire of candidates to relocate from other states and abroad to Queensland, for what they consider a positive lifestyle change. Whatever the reason, now is the time to take advantage of the available talent.

With a rich source of potential candidates, is near enough, good enough? When you’re hiring, you’re growing. That means business is good? The last thing you want to do is take on people who could be wrong for the job, or your organisation. Some important points to take into consideration when hiring, whether you’re running the process yourself or using the services of a specialised recruitment agency.

In my experience the following points are not only useful but essential when running a recruitment process to find the right people for your organisation:

Provide a detailed Position description: One that is accurate – this needs to outline the duties, responsibilities, and necessary skills, but also mention “how” the work is to be done, and timely expectations. An article I read recently put it appropriately for the Healthcare Sector “If patient care is critical, don’t assume that a candidate’s empathy is a given”. Outline how you see this is to be carried out. Don’t be afraid to put down the sometimes unmeasurable, otherwise you run the risk of having to settle for second best.

Recognise the talent you already have within your organisation: Is there any potential internal applicants that can do the job? Don’t be afraid to hire from outside if you believe that “fresh” would work better. But also recognise existing talent that could step up.

Utilise a professional firm: If you need assistance. Common problems can be looked at from an outside point of view, which offers a non-biased and hopefully a realistic view. With so many different theories on interviewing techniques and lengthy processes, specialists in this field can often expedite the process and match the well-prepared position description to the right type of talent. Be committed to the process.

Don’t oversell your organisation: Don’t run the risk of not being able to deliver, the old cliché of “under promise, over deliver” works well for retaining good talent. The last thing you want when you have put in so much time and effort into your recruitment process or paid for results, is that the expectations on both sides is unfulfilled.

Without trying to sound overly optimistic at the state of the job market in Queensland, now is the time to be securing good people for your organisation, engage them now for future gains.

2011: THE YEAR THAT WAS

Coming into 2011 in the middle of the Queensland floods, was a very nervous time for business in Queensland.  Having just recovered from the 2008/2009 down turn, everyone was talking the market up late 2010 and we were all very confident going into the New Year.

Then bang, just like that things changed, or so we thought. Like most people in Brisbane we returned from xmas holidays early, preparing for another down turn and strategising about how we would work through it.  But I am very pleased to say we were wrong.  By late January market confidence was back up on track, the phones started ringing off the hook; organisations and government entities alike were back to the business of running their businesses.

The media still talk about recession and economic uncertainty but within the recruitment industry it is more “recession, what recession?” but we have had to work harder and smarter than ever before.  In the sectors we consult in – I.T., Accounting, Executive and Health – candidates are once again in the driving seat.  Whether this is a reflection of what is happening in the mining and resources sector or not, we are seeing candidates in the position of having multiple choices about which role to accept.  This in turn started to push salaries and hourly rates up further as companies became desperate to secure staff for the positions, but I believe in recent times common sense has prevailed as employers have remained budget conscious and paying what the role and experience is worth.  Thank god we have not reverted to the craziness of 2007 when people were being counter offered $30K plus just to stay put.

The I.T. division has experienced outstanding growth in 2011 – with many major projects still kicking along, the demand for Project and Program Managers, outstanding Business Analysts and high-level technical experts has never been as good.  BUT, what we have seen happen this year, is government entities making the decision to stop projects that are not progressing and deciding to put the $$$ to better use.  So candidates assuming that a long-term project is an easy ride are now being kept on their toes to deliver results or risk that they may not have a contract at all.

Whilst the Accounting market is not the resilient market it once was there have been many large projects that have kept us and our candidates busy throughout the year. With a push by organsiations to employ technically astute candidates, CPA/CA/CIMA qualifications are becoming a minimum rather than a desired requirement, so candidates take note, push a little harder and get your qualification, it makes you so much more sought after in the current market.

Our newest division Health has had a great year, this area has seen a move for us into clinical and broader health roles.  This has been exciting and challenging for those involved, with the successful placement of the Chief Nurse for Qld and numerous Executive levels roles across both the private and public sectors we believe 2012 will be an even greater year for Eden Ritchie’s Health Division.

Not surprisingly recruitment in the North Queensland and Bowen Basin has been very busy, whilst the companies and positions on offer have been great, the challenge has been the lack of residential housing and cost of living associated within his region.  If the mining boom continues, the next couple of years are going to be challenging for businesses to attract people to the region, as not everyone wants a FIFO option.  Additionally, the pressure on Local Governments to fix and build further infrastructure to support the growth is essential.

With both Local, State and potentially Federal government elections looming you can be sure a lot will be promised to fix this but what actually is delivered is another thing.  I would be interested to hear other’s opinions on this as the tide is turning at all levels of government and I believe we are in for a turbulent year in politics.  Hold onto your hats it is about to get nasty.

So where do I think we will be in 2012 – ever the optimist, I believe the economy is stronger than the media portray, that may be naive as we are living in the 2nd busiest state after WA in the country, but that is the position I will continue to take.  We spend a lot of time going into organisations and government entities and talking about the future with the Executives and whilst some are cautious due to elections, Europe, the Australian $ etc. most are taking the view that we have work to do and no matter what governments are in office commerce still needs to keep moving along.

I for one have had a great 2011 and would like to thank our staff, candidates and most of all loyal and long-term clients who continue to work with our business.
Bring on 2012, we are all ready to hit it hard.

Written by Kim Ritchie