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SeaWorld Entertainment made headlines in December when it announced CEO Jim Atchison will step down as part of its plan to shave $50 million in costs amid dwindling attendance. As part of the plan, several positions will be eliminated or restructured. Atchison himself will transition from CEO to vice chairman of the board.
Corporate restructuring takes a toll on everybody at a company, whether they are directly affected or not. Anxiety about new responsibilities and job security run rampant during these times. Human resource managers can help ensure a smooth transition for individual employees and the company with these measures.
Reiterate Your Open-Door Policy
Human resource managers should act as an independent arbiter for the company and employees. Employees should feel they have an advocate they can speak to about anything, including job duties, co-workers and their supervisors.
Workforce magazine encourages employees to try to resolve issues with their immediate supervisor first, and then with another level of management if the nature of the issue makes going to an immediate supervisor impractical. The HR open-door policy should be spelled out plainly either in the company handbook or in a memo distributed to everyone. Make certain to emphasize that all conversations are confidential and will have no bearing on their employment status.
Offer On-Site Perks
Larger corporations with extra office space can offer employees stress-relieving perks that can both get the day off to a good start and provide a pick-me-up at lunch. Companies that already have an on-site gym should consider adding a hot tub. The American Cancer Society considers hydrotherapy one of the best and least expensive relaxation techniques. In addition, Hot Tub Works reports soaking in a hot tub may also improve brain function. Add showers to your gym as well, so employees can work out before work—it will get their workday off to a good start.
Promote Plant Power
A 2011 study by Dr. Tina Bringslimark of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences found that potted plants in offices reduce stress and fatigue among workers. The study also found that the more plants that were visible from workers’ desks, the less time they missed from work.
Mother Nature Network recommends umbrella plants and peace lilies for offices. Neither require a whole lot of sunlight, and the green leaves of both give a sense of serenity and tranquility. Oxalis and jade plants are also low-light favorites.
Encourage Healthy Eating
The Mental Health Foundation in London concluded that diets high in processed foods and low in raw vegetables, fish and nuts impede regulatory functions in the brain that reduce stress and anxiety. Psychologist and author Dr. Sharon Melnick told Forbes that low-sugar, high-protein meals before and during work can naturally reduce stress and help workers concentrate better.
Form partnerships with local restaurants and eateries that serve healthy foods. Entice employees with 10 percent discounts or some sort of rewards program for eating there. If you choose to have vending machines in the office, inquire with companies like Fresh Healthy Vending and Human Healthy Vending for more nutritious food options.
A company restructuring can be an uphill climb for employees. Use all the resources at your disposal to ensure the smoothest transition possible.