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Organisations are operating in highly volatile and dynamic environments, but too many changes are leading to unethical behaviour and misconduct.

A report by CEB found 84% of 63 companies surveyed undergo at least one significant change a year – a worrying figure as more changes lead to more unstable working environments.

According to the report, employees who experience between five to 10 changes in the work environment, or ‘career moments’ as the report called them, “observe almost three times the level of misconduct compared to their peers experiencing no career moments”.

“The personal, emotional toll taken on employees during change can have a direct negative impact on how they behave, make decisions, and execute their day-to-day jobs – often reducing collaboration, stifling problem solving, and causing less informed, under-communicated decision making,” the report stated.

Some of the biggest career moments which cause greater risk were layoffs, organisational restructuring, change in senior leadership and a change in job responsibilities.

Therefore, companies can take a three-pronged approach to minimising the risks, starting with understanding, prioritising and addressing highest risk career moments.

Secondly organisations need to “effectively reach employees through transparent, clear, truthful, and authentic communications”. The need for leaders and managers to effectively communicate any change to employees will lessen the negative effect of workplace disruptions.

Lastly, companies must provide leaders with the necessary tools and resources to manage these career moments.

“Executives who equip and enable their managers to proactively address critical career moments can reduce misconduct by as much as 42%,” the survey found.

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