• Transition psychology originated from work on
bereavement, family crisis and depression.
• Models of transition endeavour to describe how
individuals respond to change, either in their own lives
or environment. There are many types of change and
varying degrees of impact.
• Not all changes cause transitions. Most transitions are
associated with significant life events - changes to the
individual’s role or environment that require radical
restructuring of the individual’s view of themselves and
• Transition management is now a key aspect of
any organization's change process.
• Transition management is about what employees
experience personally within themselves. It is
concerned with helping employees let go of how
things used to be and adapt to the way things are
or are going to be. Managing transitions means
helping employees to make a difficult process less
stressful and disruptive for everyone.
SO WHAT TO DO?
When change occurs, the actions taken by
management can impede or enhance
employees’ adaptation to change. It is vital to
identify the ‘whats’ and the ‘hows’ of the
proposed change and assess the impact on
• clear reasons for the change that employees
can understand and believe
• internal one-to-one communications
• awareness and management of stress
• emotional support
• identifying aspects that individuals and the
organisation need to ‘let go’.
The key issue for organisations is to
increase transition awareness among its
employees and managers at all levels. This
will help to prepare employees for change
that will occur at work (and in their home
life). It will also help managers to manage
and support employees during periods of
Clear vision needs to be established when
Top-level management must consider all those
who will be affected through the changes.
Dealing with Transition
It is important to understand the stages of
Transition and the impact of each stage.
Prepare teams for transition and to
facilitate a successful transition process
Anxiety rises and motivation falls
Confusion and miscommunication
IMPORTANT TO MANAGE THIS ZONE
Celebrate the successes of new identity
Figure out what has actually changed
Consider possibilities in a new light
• Management style must adapt to different phases of the
change process. Launching a change may require a
firm, directive style, whereas the transition will require
a more supportive and consultative approach.
• Trust is a key component for all employees going
through the transition cycle. Employees need to trust
their senior management team’s competence, credibility
and motives for launching any change.
If the transition process is not effectively
managed then an organisation is likely to
experience some or all of the following:
• increased sickness absence
• reduced/poor performance
• loss of creativity and initiative
• increased grievances
Preparing Employees for Transition
There are a number of initiatives and activities that an organisation can
employ as part of their plan for transition, such as:
• engage in real two-way dialogue, not one-way communication
• understand the organisational change from the employee’s perspective
• align the organisations human resources systems to support the employees in
• allow for individual differences in employees capacity to cope with change
• concentrate on providing adequate training, mentoring and coaching for
employees affected by change
• equip managers and employees with the personal and leadership skills to
manage change and the transition process.