Changes in the Workplace: How to Go with the Flow

Changes in the Workplace: How to Go with the Flow

02/9/15 James Winston

It’s probably not news to those in the workforce that business is changing and changing fast. Many times, it is difficult to predict or know what will happen next with the very place that we may be working. Over the years, some companies have had to downsize, reorganize, merge, and change its workforce. These kinds of changes can put a new face on organizational dynamics and how we see our role within the organization.

It is stressful to deal with any change, and the uncertainty can be unsettling when you are not directly involved nor being communicated with about the changes in the organization.  Accepting change and making the required transitions may be difficult. Here are some suggestions to help adapt to change in a positive manner:

The first step is to learn about the reason(s) for the change so that you can comprehend the direction the organization is taking. Change can be positive and presents an opportunity to be instrumental in the change which will be a real asset to the organization. Identifying what training or new information you may need to obtain to better understand and to better adapt during the transition will be beneficial.

The second steps are acknowledging your feelings and recognizing that just stuffing those feelings will not help. Going to an EAP counselor can help you identify how the changes are making you feel. You may start to recognize a grieving process since the change may be a major difference in how you have worked in the past. Attempt to learn from others about their perspective of the changes, but be careful about the negativity factor that often occurs and can prevent you from seeing opportunities that may or could present themselves.

A positive attitude is not only important, but will be recognized by those implementing the changes. Learn your role in the change process. Manage your feelings and responses to the transition so that you can put on the best professional approach. Communicating with your supervisor and attempting to understand what skills you may need to learn or utilize will be essential.

When change is anticipated, it is important to acknowledge that an increase in pressures, demands, and workloads may occur. Finding ways to prepare and proactively handle these changes will help decrease the stress. Protect your leisure time and methods of managing stress to help cope with any changes. It is important not to neglect your family nor turn to substance use as a stress releaser or coping strategy.

Part of the change process is acceptance – acknowledging the change, assisting with the change process, and allowing change to work to your advantage. Change can be the time to look into how you can expand your value to the company and to focus on your strengths which could contribute or assist with the transition. Managers can help employees with change by fully understanding the changes, implementing changes effectively, and communicating the changes to employees. Encouraging employees to ask questions and to seek guidance during the process will help to mitigate employee fears and uncertainties.

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