Dealing with change at work: Tony Burke interview

On 19th July, over 100 publishers will meet at St Bride Foundation off Fleet Street to discuss how to deal with change at work. One of the panelists is Tony Burke, an Assistant General Secretary at Unite the Union. Here are some of his thoughts ahead of the event.

1) Why do you think that organisations resist change?

Fear of the unknown, fear for the future and uncertainty and resistance can be built up by a lack of trust between the parties.

2) How might you get all stakeholders on-board before initiating change?

Best practice shows that informal discussions with the appropriate parties should take place followed by formal discussion and listening to the views of those that change will affect and in particular taking on board legitimate concerns by those that will be affected.

3) What are the best communication channels for delivering change initiatives?

Where there is a trade union the best way would be to talk to the Union Reps and share with them the proposals for change and listen to their views and to give the union reps an opportunity to consult with their own members.

4) How might you overcome resistance to change?

By discussion, consultation and by listening.  Where people feel they are being consulted properly and are having their say, fear of change can soon dissipate.  Working with people is far better than trying to drive through change.

5) How do you analyse the impact of a change?

Analysing the impact of change can be done by various ways, through discussion with both parties, through surveys and by regular feedback and meetings to discuss the initiatives.