Embracing Change in the Workplace
Change can be good or bad, depending on what the change is and, more importantly, how you react to it. Change is a fact of life that is inevitable, and we all need to deal with it as best we can. Individuals who adapt and embrace change are the ones who continue to thrive; whether that is at home or in the workplace.
For those of you who have been in the same line of work for many years, you may have seen a lot of changes. With constant improving technologies and the accessibility of information through the internet, mankind is moving at incredible speed. Whether it is the use of computers and software, improved technologies, law changes, schedule changes, shifts in business, and even the use of robots - there have been drastic changes in the majority of workplaces over the last few decades.
An increased focus on safety is an example of a change over the last few decades for the majority of workplaces. While everyone benefits from companies wanting to avoid injuries, some individuals harp on the fact that “back in the day, there was no safety, and a lot more progress got done at work”. While this may be true in some cases, the recent shift to focusing on safety rewards companies that care for their employees. This not only keeps the workers healthy but also makes good business sense for the company. A negative attitude towards the change of increased emphasis on safety not only can lower the morale of fellow coworkers, but it actually hurts, not helps, the overall goals of the business.
Your success and happiness relating to changes in the workplace will directly depend on how you adapt to it. There are always individuals who talk about the “old way” of doing things or how things were done “back in the day.”
While this experience is irreplaceable and will always hold value, it will only do so if you continue to adapt to new technologies and new ways of doing things.
When man invented the wheel, if it was not embraced where would we be today?
Individuals who are stuck in the past and doing things the old way will be left in the dust of change. If the same individuals used this critical experience and life lessons and applied them to the new changes in the workplace, they will continue to be valuable employees. Stay ahead of the new trends to figure out how you can apply what you have learned to the new paths of your career field or the job market as a whole.
We cannot fight or slow down change. Companies must embrace change to continue operations, and their employees must not only accept change but think of how they can add value to the change on an individual level to continue to thrive themselves.
Five tips to embrace change
As you face upcoming transitions keep in mind these five tips:
- When change is in the air, look for ways to take action, be proactive, and remain actively engaged as you transition into a new situation.
- Open communication between workers and management is critical in times of change. Don’t let rumours lead you astray - ask for clear direction or clarification when something is unclear. If you are unsure about the new approach asking questions lets people know that something may not be clear or even may not have been approached correctly. Asking questions is fundamental to learning.
- Change means disrupting your original routine. The key is learning how to be flexible in adapting to change. Employees will become more successful if they embrace the change through a can-do attitude. Focus on similarities not differences. What skills can you apply to the new situation?
- Use this time to reaffirm your commitment and value to the company. Your work can shine during this transitional period.
- Although it is not always easy, when negative thoughts seep into the workplace, they can be detrimental to your point of view much later down the road. Remember that you are endlessly adaptable and that growth almost always comes with discomfort.
Businesses thrive when they embrace change. The same holds true for individuals. You can meet job competition head-on by developing and taking opportunities as they come. In addition, adapting your work style to meet the changes of a workplace environment makes you a valuable co-worker and team member.
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