Embracing Change in the Workplace: For Managers and Employees

Fear, anxiety, stress, anger, excitement, and relief are all emotions that can occur when change is present. 73% of change affected employees reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress during and after change. Change is inevitable, whether we welcome it or not, and occurs in all aspects of our lives. While some of us relish the challenges that come with change, others can become fearful and resistant in which change needs to be addressed and dealt with.

Change and uncertainty are becoming familiar aspects of working life. However, change does not have to be negative; the opportunities it can present when embracing change be far more beneficial than first thought. It is imperative to understand the adversity that is happening, the impact it has on the organisation, your colleagues and you personally, and how you can get the most out of the situation.

Embracing Change as a Manager

Having a defined strategy in place makes it easier to communicate change with your team members and monitor progress towards key milestones and goals. Only 40% of front-line managers understood why change was happening. Regardless of how you believe employees will react, you must set a clear, honest, and positive narrative for the changes you want to make or are going through. Clearly communicating the drivers for change and well-defined desired outcomes and benefits provide tangible benchmarks for people to understand, aim for and ultimately measure in terms of how successful the change has been.

A leader’s impact on change is well-understood. It is important that senior leaders promote and act as role models for change. Identifying and involving relevant people in the organisation irrespective of their roles, to drive and support change. This helps to ensure that there is a real ownership of the change from the wider organisation for them to advance change successfully.

Leaders make change easier when they engage employees in the change. They need to know how it will impact their job responsibilities which can assuage any fears they may have. Research shows 29% of employees say there was poor internal communication about change. Employees will feel more excited about change if they have a clear idea of what is happening, have their say, or stems from what they want and have requested. To further enhance excitement and embrace change you as a manager can reward acceptance. With any new product, idea, or change, you’ll always have early and late adopters, its important to identify your early adopters and reward desired behaviours. When employees feel empowered to change, the future vision becomes a shared goal, and empowerment enable the goal to become a sustainable reality.

It is extremely important to avoid ignoring resistance within your teams. Studies show 62% of employees don’t like leaving their comfort zones. This can be done through feedback loops with employees, like surveys, feedback channels and input sessions to proactively identify signs of resistance. Ignoring resistance, denying it exists, and trying to beat it down only serves to worsen the situation.

Embracing Change as an Employee

Recognising and embracing change is one of the first steps toward managing it. Having a positive outlook on workplace changes can greatly influence your ability to accept and adapt to them. The one thing you have control over is your attitude, you can decide to keep yourself in an open frame of mind. Repeating negatives like ‘life isn’t fair’ can lead to a downward spiral. Instead, tell yourself you are ok and that it is fine to have feelings like this, but don’t let them stay for too long. Look at how it can positively influence your job role, enabling you to handle adversity and do what you need to do. Experimenting with new ways of working and living can be an effective way to embrace change. You won’t know how a change may benefit you unless you embrace new opportunities.

As an employee it is crucial to address any concerns you may have early on by speaking with your manager, they can offer helpful information about workplace changes to help you adapt better. 64% of employees say their employers were not honest about the changes they would face. Ask as many questions as possible to those in charge of overseeing new procedures or activities, this can help you gain a better understanding of how to complete new tasks.

Speaking to close ones about workplace changes and how they affect you provides a safe space for you to vent and reduce stress. You can invite co-workers to lunch or for a walk outside to discuss the situation which can help guide you to an answer to your problems or a helping hand to help deal with the situation.

How Can Wellity Support You?

At Wellity we’ve seen a large amount of teams struggle to navigate organisational change within the workplace. Whether it be an organisation-wide transition, unexpected external events, or an internal restructure, it is undeniable that the business landscape is often in a state of flux.

Our ‘Ice and Fire’ Training Programme has been specifically designed by the Wellity Global academic team, to reflect the challenges faced by organisations across the world as more and more managers face turbulence and changing times and tides.

The programme will take your people on a journey of discovery, self-awareness, whilst learning the life-changing leadership lessons to guide their people in a changing and uncertain world. Using experiential learning, actor based interventions and roleplays, and proven tools and frameworks, this training course is essential for all managers and leaders facing times of change, transition, or uncertainty.

For any information on this programme or to book a meeting, contact our team at hello@wellityglobal.com.

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