Embracing change in the workplace is a necessary skill for workers in 2020. With continuous shifts in technology, market trends, staff, and processes, it has never been more important for employers and employees to learn how to react to changes in their environment.
Even if you don't consider yourself a naturally resilient person, adapting to change is a skill you can learn to master. Here are four steps toward adapting to change in the workplace.
Don't skip this step, no matter how frilly it may sound. You may be thinking "I wouldn't be reading this blog post if I weren't aware of feelings I have toward a recent change in my life." However, what we want to emphasize with this point is that you should take the time to understand your emotions and their sources.
Using positive thinking won't get you through a major transition if there are underlying emotions involved. If you are experiencing anger, is it possible that that anger is rooted in a particular fear of the future? If you're sad, what is it that you feel like you've lost? Gaining a better understanding of your feelings and their sources will help you face those challenges with a rational mindset.
Be kind to yourself through this process. You can't control emotions. You can only control what you do with them.
When a change enters the workplace that inconveniences you, it is natural to want to cast blame. But even though it's natural, the blame game is not productive. Focus on what you can control, which is only how you'll deal with it.
It can be helpful, though, to work toward understanding why the change was made. Don't be afraid to talk with a manager or the decision-maker to get the full picture. When you see the challenges they were up against when the decision was made, you may feel more peace to move on with the change at hand.
Empathy can only get you so far when adapting to change; it's in our nature to want to know what's in it for us. For this reason, try to see the transition as an opportunity.
And there are numerous benefits of having an open mind throughout periods of change!
The only true way to experience success in the midst of change is through employers and employees coming together to communicate. The input of employees during a transition is invaluable to an employer. On the other hand, employers can do a number of things to help employees manage change, including:
Although the notion of change may push you out of your comfort zone, know that you are contributing to the growth of yourself both personally and professionally. Do you have advice for embracing change in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor's Note: Originally published 2/16/16; updated 2/20/20.