This week the headlines have been full of news stories regarding the downsizing of some well-known high street giants, including House of Fraser and Poundworld, in a last bid attempt to save them from collapse.
The closure of 31 House of Fraser stores puts 6000 jobs at risk. At the same time a further 5,300 jobs may go if investors fail to rescue Poundworld from administration. Find out more
This is a devastating blow for the high street and an all too familiar story. Yet the retail environment will only become more challenging, with more distribution channels and more consumer choice than ever before. And, sadly, the sheer size of these high street giants only serves to impair their ability to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions. Consequently, the pressure is always on.
So, whether this is the beginning of the end for these huge, property-heavy retailers, still remains to be seen. But, perhaps what we can be sure of, in the wake of such significant job losses, is that there will be a negative impact - not only on those who lose their jobs, but also on the people who survive.
For the likes of House of Fraser, keeping the surviving workforce buoyed during this difficult transition will be a monumental challenge, particularly when the lion share of management activity will be focused on immediate business imperatives, and on the exiting workforce.
That said, in times like this, neglecting the surviving workforce is a fatal error. Survivors may feel disheartened, scared, relieved, or guilty which might affect their wellbeing, as well as their performance, which could cause further detriment to the business.
To rebuild trust and confidence, people might expect much more frequent communication, open dialogue, and a chance to ask questions about what happens next. They may demand a much greater involvement in the decisions that are made that affect their futures, and they may want to reclaim some control over their working lives and their careers thereafter.
However, even accompanied with professional counselling and support, a traditional command and control management approach is unlikely to satisfy the very genuine needs of the surviving workforce.
Organisations that help their Managers to improve the way they engage with people will be much better equipped to navigate the arduous journey they have ahead of them, and emerge much more resilient. This may require Managers to develop a new approach to management that calls for a significant behaviour change; whilst this might not come easy, it will be a critical factor in the future survival of the business.
Yet we also know that so many management development programmes fail to deliver any lasting results. That’s why after years of research, global experts in behaviour change, Notion, developed STAR®, the first ‘Operational Coaching’ model designed to transform management behaviour. Notion has repeatedly proven that when Managers adopt an ‘Operational Coaching’ approach they benefit from fantastic improvements in engagement, communication and morale.
When organisations are struggling to survive, investment in management development is probably the least of their concerns, however, Notion’s clients repeatedly report ROI of up to 99X the original investment, with many reporting huge commercial benefits within 8 weeks of the programme.
So, with Notion’s behavioural change programmes, there is nothing to lose by helping to reduce the negative impact of survivor syndrome and everything to gain.
Notion is a global expert in behaviour change. For more information about how we can help prepare your Managers to navigate challenging commercial situations visit us here or call us for an informal chat on +44 (0) 1926 889 885.