Managing Difficult Change

Change in the workplace is inevitable. It happens on a regular basis whether we like it or not. For many individuals, change can be a good thing. A chance to take an objective look at processes and habits and make modifications towards professional and personal development and improvement.

That being said, change doesn’t always come easy, nor is it always positive. Major changes to positions and job duties (e.g., the result of restructuring), dealing with difficult situations, and adjusting to swift to various workplace transitions can be challenging for the most prepared and experience of us. There are still ways to effectively manage workplace change to limit resentment, resistance, and avoid a loss of productivity and morale.

Prepare Your Managers – The better prepared your managers are to deal with the change, the better equipped they will be to communicate these changes to employees to ensure everyone is kept in the loop and provided with the appropriate resources they need. Additionally, prepared supervisors can better react to and with upset employees and can help ensure everyone works as a cohesive unit by having the tools they need to effectively control a variety of situations.

Acknowledge Feelings and Emotions – Certain types of change can be emotionally taxing. Brushing your employee’s feelings under the rug is quite possibly the worst thing you can do in a difficult situation. Practice an increased level of empathy and try to put yourself in your employee’s shoes and understand where they are coming from. Knowing that you are there for them, are genuinely concerned, and will do everything you can to help them during those difficult times can make a huge difference.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate! – Particularly in situations in which major decisions are being made (e.g., position eliminations due to a merger), it is vital to communicate anything you “can” to limit stress amongst your employees. Rumors about pending decisions can be incredibly damaging. Communicating with your employees through a period of change makes them feel like they are a part of the process, potentially strengthening morale and relationships rather than cause unnecessary discontent.

Change is constant. Having a plan in place and methods to help you mitigate the potential negative impacts of difficult change can make a huge difference in the overall productivity and morale of your employees and the ongoing success of your organization.

Change Can be a Good Thing!

We have been discussing the concept of “change” in depth this month. New Year’s resolutions and goal setting, recognizing room for improvement, organizing your office and workspace, and so many other factors tie into positive, professional changes in the workplace. While setting and striving to achieve personal, individual goals is something we can all constantly be working on, what about your organization as a whole? What changes can you implement to make your organization a better place to work?

Depending on your position within your company, your level of authority to make any pertinent changes may be limited. That being said, take a look at the day-to-day. See what modifications can be made that would affect the operations of your department, create more efficient processes, and would establish better ways to work with customers or clients and suggest them to your supervisor. A good manager should always be willing to listen to employee feedback which is vital to the success of your organization.

If you’re in a position that has the freedom to make modifications to business operations and other vital components to your organization, listen to your employees. They are the wheels that keeps your machine of a company running. Take a step back and take an objective look at your business. What areas can it see some improvement? What are your goals for your organization in the near future and what do you need to do to reach those objectives?

HRCentral is a prime example of this. We recently completely revamped our website (including our blog) in an effort to provide information about our company to current and potential clients in a sleek, streamlined, and more modern manner. We reviewed where we were at and where we wanted our website to be and implemented those changes accordingly. Such a seemingly simple change makes a huge difference in the important information we provide.

Changes don’t always have to be on a large scale, intimidating, or implemented immediately. Reviewing processes and operations and seeing what improvements can be made is a great first step in making your organization a better place to work.

Nuts-and-Bolts: Organization in the Workplace

We all suffer from bouts of disorganization in the workplace from time to time, some more than others. While a  bit of untidiness isn’t typically cause for concern, a seriously cluttered desk can cause more issues than an unsightly view for your coworkers. Staying neat in the workplace can affect morale, perceptions of professionalism, and overall efficiency. (more…)

A New Year, the Same Drum

The start of a new year brings to mind for most of us new resolutions and goals. While nearly everyone can benefit from making changes at both a professional and personal level, a reflection of last year’s professional work is often glossed over. Even though we start a new year, many of us are still beating the same old drum, the same rhythm, the same routine. (more…)