As part of my day job, I am responsible for new technology and program integration at the office.
So you just advise your staff of a change in technology or the arrival of a new program which will affect their workflows. It would be wonderful if everyone would respond in a positive and proactive way and make the most of this change in the present moment, but that doesn’t happen in real life.
Change in the workplace can be dramatic, challenging and uncomfortable. Change may suddenly throw your employees’ work lives out of balance.
I can tell you by experience that people’s reaction to change is always the same no matter how much forewarning or information is given. In each office I have worked in, the 4 types of employees are always present.
Part of my job is to help each type strive through the change.
1. Change = Bad
The individuals who see all change has bad won’t understand why they should even bother learning something new. “What’s the point? It’s not going to work anyway.”
Change in the workplace will require that employees to form some new habits and routines while letting go of old habits and patterns of behaviour that may no longer serve them. Change signal a new beginning, and with a new beginning, other things must obviously end. Employees who automatically view change as something bad will focus on what they perceive as a lost instead of seeing what will improve their work life for the better.
I have found that agreeing with these employees that it might initially seem as though things have changed for the worse, but that however, if they take some time to reflect and look below the surface of this change, they may, in fact, find that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, helps change perspective. Agreeing that all these benefits of change might not always seem very clear on the surface, helps them feel better about struggling with change and understood as they take small steps towards adapting to a new way of working.
2. Change = I’m losing my job
The individuals who see change with paranoia is concerned with survival. The instant any upcoming change is announced, this individual is flooded with adrenaline warnings of dangers. “You are only doing this because you want to fire me.”
In our modern ever changing world, this alarm is pointless and annoying.
3. Not my Company
They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control. They don’t see change as positive or negative, they don’t feel personally concerned. They tolerate discomfort because it’s a job and a paycheck. They accept their feelings without being controlled by them.
These employees won’t help change the outlook of their more negative co-workers or share in the excitement of the more positive coworkers.
4. Power Users
They welcome challenges. They don’t expect immediate results. They replace negative thoughts with productive thoughts. They see the change has an opportunity to start anew, to consider all possibilities. It’s a chance to discard physical clutter, tired ideas and old routines.
After an adaptation period, the results are always the same, even the most negative employee ends up liking the new system better than the old one.
Everyone can strive
It’s important to understand that unexpected change is a natural part of life because the reality is that nothing lasts forever.
That anxious feeling does not signal that you’re doing something wrong, only that you’re trying something new. Change is often scary, however, it is usually incredibly beneficial and rewarding at the same time.
Change can help you to develop your resilience and strength of character because it often forces you into uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations.