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Attitudes can ease transition

Employees in the Garfield County Assessor’s Office are facing a stressful time of transition, and how smoothly it goes is ultimately up to their current boss, their future boss and themselves.That sums up some of the advice from some local counselors and from someone who experienced a similar transition a year ago while working for the District Attorney’s Office in Glenwood Springs.”The transition depends on the parties. They can make it as acrimonious or as harmonious as they wish it to be,” said Scott Turner, who served as a deputy DA for Colleen Truden and her successor, Martin Beeson.Voters recalled Truden last fall and chose Beeson to replace her. There had been fears that hard feelings could make the transfer of power a difficult one, but Turner said it went pretty well.”I think Colleen and Martin were able to get through the transition with relative ease and few problems, which was a great benefit to everybody in the office,” Turner said.Turner, who in September became a deputy DA in Colorado Springs, said the office now headed by Beeson went through some personnel changes after the election, but he credits Beeson and Assistant DA Jeff Cheney with putting employees at ease.Some things are out of the control of employees during a change in power, including the decision about whether they will keep their jobs.”The advice I guess I would have is keep doing your job as well as you always have and let the politics play out as it may,” Turner said.Local counselors Warren Humble and Susan Ackerman said people can respond differently to the uncertainty that can surround a change in management. Some have more trouble dealing with the stress than others, particularly when their job future is unclear. Humble, director of White River Counseling in Rifle, added, “I think that people can perhaps remind themselves of other processes of change that they’ve been involved in and that they’ve gotten through.”People would do well to ask for the advice and support of those they trust, Humble said. They also should keep in mind the new opportunities that change can present.”The fact that it has happened, it may open some doors that, had it not happened, you never would have accessed,” he said.Flexible workers also can find that they can play a valuable role in assisting during a transition, and can come to recognize the positives that changes introduced by a new administration can bring, Humble said.Ackerman directs the employee assistance program at Colorado West Regional Mental Health. She encourages managers to make use of EAP programs that can provide counseling for employees in need, and management assistance for supervisors, during a time of transition. Managers who provide adequate time for communication and planning can help make the transition less problematic, she said.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.com


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