The first stage of the Worklife Journey is preparation, and represents the first 2 weeks of the change. In this time, it is important to remember that any change involves letting go of something known familiar and comfortable – which brings a sense of loss. In this time people need to both grieve what has been lost, and to identify and celebrate the learning around what can be carried into the new way forward. Reactions to endings are normal – it does not mean people are resisters or difficult.

In this stage it is essential to encourage people to talk about their feelings. If this phase of transition is not supported by appropriate leadership behaviour, feelings of resentment, misunderstandings and violation may persist and spread in the organization.

Staff Emotions


Overwhelmed and unsure



Distracted, lack of focus

Anxiety (sense of impending doom)

  Expected Behaviours

Carrying on as usual

Avoiding making decisions or changes

Minimising or rationalising the situation

Heightened social media/internet usage –seeking updates and reassurance

Catastrophising – focussing on worst case scenarios


Loss of productivity from additional distractions

Not providing enough clarity or direction to staff resulting in confusions

Increased levels of anxiousness and concern

  Leadership Challenge

Identifying essential vs. non-essential delivery

Identifying options for remote operation

Communicating transition plan

Ensuring employee readiness to transition to online platforms

Maintaining trust – balance listening to concerns with instructing staff on new ways of operating

Business Challenge

Transitioning workforce to online platforms & systems

Identifying essential vs. non-essential delivery

Identifying & understanding the impact to the business

  Recommended Action

Leadership coaching – planning the way forward/developing resilience in leading through change

Facilitated ‘First Team’ discussions – positioning the change with consistent messaging from all leaders


Additional Resources