Time to invest in people says change management expert

As the nation braces itself for potentially turbulent financial times, change management experts at SFL are advising companies to draw on their greatest assets; their people

Politicians, businesses and economic forecasters have collectively agreed 2008 will be a tough year. This is likely to have a ripple effect on the business community as companies tighten their belts and prepare to weather the storm.

SFL's chief executive John Fay MBE said: "Often structural changes are introduced by companies as a knee-jerk reaction to market changes. In these situations it's common for companies to overlook their true assets - their employees - and in a bid to re-align, they fail to put effective people strategies in place.

"Companies forget that people and the dynamic working relationships they form are key to successful performance. Failing to recognise this can often prove costly in times of instability."

Whether a recession becomes a reality or not, UK companies will be affected by the threat of an impending market slowdown. In many cases this in itself can act as a catalyst for change as organisations experience a confidence crisis, resulting in panic restructures and staff cuts when taking time to provide training to existing staff could have more long-term benefits for a company's profitability.

Fay added: "Effective change management recognises the value of a strong leadership culture to steer an organisation through difficult times. We encourage companies to consider their core values and to make sure they are communicated well through every level of the organisation."

Image: SFL's chief executive, John Fay MBE

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