Am I a cow at a county fair? If so, count me best of breed

We are going through a re-org at work. I’m sure it is no different from anywhere else – leadership caught up in the mechanics so much so that they don’t realize these are people with spirits, hearts, homes and brains to consider vs. cattle to trade at the county fair.

These things have a huge impact on morale. I thought I was ok. After I heard the unclear details, I worked out-of-town for a few days on a particular project only to come back to less clarity and some unhappy friends.

I didn’t think it had a mental impact on me, but it does. I can’t change much about it, but I’ve been through a few of these. It at least brings to mind some things to remember:

  • No one wants to be referred to as a resource of someone (aka “She is mine” or “My team”)
  • Meet in small groups first to find out what individuals think and feel. Address needs individually before announcing final decisions to the group.
  • Get input from the group before making ANY decisions. If anyone knows what is going on, it is the team…more than the leader. They are in the weeds and know what would benefit most from a change.
  • Provide clear communications. No half baked decisions. No “we don’t like the decision either” in front of everyone. No off-color jokes for the occasion (e.g. “You are here because we have a reduction in force – j/k”). Don’t let a week go by before you formally tell people…because they then have to revert to the informal network and that can lead to unnecessary gossip and lost productivity. And, the last thing you need is the farm animals not producing!
  • Think on this – “How would you feel if you were to receive the news?” – some will be happier, some will be mad, some will feel slighted.

There may be more, but this is all for me at the moment. I will be ok whatever the outcome because I just want to do good work and with people who I enjoy. Perhaps I’ll make some new relationships and build in some new skills. But, let’s not make the start to that too rocky.

For now, I’m going to assume I’m a best of breed cow at this county fair. Otherwise, I’ll go down that road of feeling down, performing less and participating in more gossip and we don’t want any downers at this county fair.

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