Hello API Job Corps Centers:
All of you have are experiencing unprecedented changes in your personal and professional lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to John Wright (trainingindustry.com) people often view change as disruptive, unwelcomed, uncertain and stressful. Right? He goes on to say that it is in everyone’s best interest to shift this mindset. It is not a matter of if change is going to happen, but when. It is my hope you can become an employee that is open, flexible, and quick to embrace change. It will help you, the center, and our students to do so. But how can that happen?
I consider all of us change agents. While others need to govern and direct the change, all of you on the center and close to our students, can influence and advocate for it. API corporate must do the same. Mr. Wright mentions at least four things change agents can do during times of change to shift the mindset of staff and guarantee the success of any change. They are adapted for Job Cob and listed below:
1. Connect with the Power of Vision API has a vision for our centers based on our vision for the company. Our vision is “to help create a world where people respect themselves, respect others, respect their communities and strive for excellence.” It is on our website and in our hearts. If we can keep our vision (which is reflected in your center norms) in the forefront of whatever changes are thrown at us, we can help engage the hands and hearts that are needed to make the vision a reality. When things get tough, remember you are a part of something bigger than a policy or a procedure. You are involved in world changing activities each day you help a student succeed.
2. Define Expectations Whenever change happens, employees ask, “But how does this affect me?” API believes you have a right to understand what is required, how those requirements are different from their current reality, and when the change will happen. As difficult as change can be, we know it is inevitable, and we can soften the blow by defining expectations. Please let us know if we do not provide you expectations in a fair and timely manner. As a change agent, I would ask that you also share those expectations whenever possible.
3. Communicate Communication at all levels is key. The right message, delivered by the right person, at the right time is essential. That is why I continue to request that any “water cooler conversations” cease. They hurt you, your colleagues, and most of all, our students. Please ensure that your concerns are heard; however, they need to be heard by the right person. When leaders hear you, they have a better sense of what really is going on and how best to help you. It is our promise that we will encourage open communication throughout any change process.
4. Think of the positive In any change, no matter how difficult, there is probably a positive outcome that can be captured and communicated. As a change agent, reflect on the reason for the change and find the positive outcomes for yourself, your fellow staff, the center, and most of all our students. Change is going to happen, and when it does, positivity will solidify commitment to the change initiative and inspire a focused effort to bring the change to fruition.
Continue to stay safe and let us know if you have ANY questions we can answer or find the answers for you.