Optimistc Adaptation

When a merger resulted in a complete restructuring of the leadership team at the retail establishment Scott worked at, he had a difficult time working with the new members of management and new procedures regarding the chain of command. Already in an assistant manager position, Scott knew that this change was completely outside his control and no matter how much he disagreed with the restructuring his department was undergoing, nothing would change the forward momentum the company was moving in. After having a conversation with human resources, voicing his concerns and frustrations, Scott approached his work with a new attitude and decided to view the situation as “glass half full,” and made the proactive decision to not let these changes affect him in a negative way.

Last week, we discussed how important a positive outlook is to ensure we effectively adapt to change. Our mindset when faced with difficult situations is vital in ensuring our personal and professional success. How do you get to that point? How do you adjust your efforts to view change as an opportunity to evolve, grow, and learn in a productive manner?

Let Go of the Past – Stop comparing what is to what was. You had an amazing manager, a great team, the perfect workload, and then things changed. Constantly comparing the present to how good things used to be is going to give you nothing but grief and resentment. Let it all go. Focus on the present and the potential opportunities that the change you’re faced with may bring.

Reevaluate Your Goals – During times of significant change, we may need to reevaluate our goals and objectives, and adjust them as necessary to fit the changing landscape.  Setting new goals is a great way to wipe the slate clean and move forward with a new, optimistic outlook.

Focus on Control – One of the primary issues many of us have with change is control; more so, that change is outside our control which leads to stress. The only thing you can control in times of change is often your own actions and reactions to situations. Focus your energy on controlling your own actions and try to drown out everything else. Such attention will lead to higher levels of fulfillment and engagement in the workplace.

What happens when you’ve tried all of the above and you still find yourself stuck in a pessimistic rut? Read along next week as we discuss how to pull yourself out of the vicious, negative cycle and embrace the change you’re presented with.

Change = A Constructive Challenge

Helen worked at a small consulting firm for nearly 7 years. When the company decided to downsize and move out of the property they were renting, employees were expected to transition to remote worksites (whether that be from home or an office they had access to). With 2 small children at home, working from home presented a huge challenge to Helen. Rather than becoming overly stressed at the prospect of telecommuting, Helen focused on the positives of the situation, and was able to work out her childcare situation, work projects, and time management to ensure that she handled this substantial change in the most efficient manner possible.

Significant changes in our lives can result in 2 very different outcomes. Change has the power to make us feel overwhelmed and anxious, or can provide us with an opportunity to better ourselves. Particularly with change in the workplace, considerable changes can be challenging. Challenges can be constructive however, and approaching such alterations to our work lives with a positive and constructive outlook can result in both personal and professional growth.

Adaptation can be hard, and a good place to start is putting yourself in the right mindset. Challenge yourself to view change as a positive thing and that it is within our power to not allow it to affect us negatively. Focusing your efforts on viewing change not as a threat, but as an opportunity to evolve, learn, and develop further is a positive first step in making the most out of the circumstances we are presented with.

Next week, we will further discuss how to use this newfound mindset to make the most out of the period of adjustment. How do you grow from a situation that, at one time, could have resulted in a loss of engagement and motivation?

Change – A Necessary Evil

Change is one of those constants in life that the majority of us aren’t huge fans of. Change is also usually necessary and depending on the situation, can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. In the workplace, these transitions can range from promotions or demotions, new management, moving locations, different projects or workloads, or working with new and different people.

This month, we will discuss the necessary evil that is change, and how such alterations to our work lives can provide us with an opportunity to better ourselves. Rather than causing unnecessary stress, make the most out of this period of adjustment. There are countless benefits that can be experienced both at the organizational and individual level during a period of change, particularly when you look at the positive outcomes rather than the negatives.

Here at HRCentral, we are undergoing a significant change of our own! We are closing the offices we have been located at since our founding in 1989. For us, such a huge change is providing us with the opportunity to focus on new objectives for our Company and allows us all to reevaluate individual goals and how to make the most out of this transition.

Drawing from our own recent experiences, follow along this month as we talk about how to effectively manage change in the workplace. Every organization is unique and knowing how to work with your employees to ensure that even the most minor of changes are executed in a smooth and seamless manner is vital to success. Change has the ability to cause substantial failure, or significant accomplishments; let’s work together to ensure we all experience the latter!

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.