When I think of people I respect and admire, they all share similar traits. They’re authentic, giving, present, grateful, and have a balanced life outside of their work. Another thing they have in common is their ability to handle and embrace change pragmatically, head-on, and with grace.
Change is inevitable. It is a vehicle for the growth of our communities, workplaces, team members and families. However, when there is a large change in our work life, the uncertainty can be overwhelming. Thoughts of “Will I have a job in 6 months?”, “I don’t understand”, “I’m falling behind”, and “Maybe Freedom 55 isn’t realistic for me” all fill your head. Here are some helpful tactics to manage workplace change.
- Perspective shift – a.k.a. Suck It up. The change is happening, so you might as well find the positive in it. Dwelling on the negative feeds the anti-change movement and gets us nowhere. Don’t think, “I like the old way better”; shift your perspective to be open to learning and broadening your horizons. When we struggle, we grow and improve. Learning a new skill will look good on your resume. Perhaps shifting duties now allows you to spend more time with members, or if an admin task is done quick, maybe you can focus on big projects that you’ve been putting to the back-burner.
- Remember the WHY – Ask yourself: Why are you doing these new tasks? Why is your job impacted? Why are you applying for a new position? Answering the why gives clarity to the day-to-day functions and keeps you and your team motivated. Maybe the why is to enhance the member experience, advance your career, or simply to print less paper to save our beautiful trees and improve the ever-important operating efficiency ratio. If you’re unsure on the why, have a candid conversation with your Supervisor/Manager/VP/GM/CEO or anyone who is leading the change. It’s their job to help you see the organization’s vision and your role in getting there.
- Have a Laugh – Humour is great medicine. Remember, others are likely feeling the same pressure and confusion as you. Take 15 minutes to go for a walk or coffee together to tell a joke, share an article or hilarious stories about what your children have done to bring you great embarrassment. My personal favorite is when I realize my day is playing out just like an episode of a TV show. Applying wisdom spoken by Michael Scott or Mindy Lahiri is guaranteed to lighten the mood.
- Be Patient – Not everyone accepts or applies change at the same rate. Develop your emotional IQ to be sensitive to different personality types and help out where you can – we’re all on the same team!
- Communication and Self-Care – Reach out to those around you if you’re struggling. Ask your superiors to assist with clarity on future possibilities and timelines. Perhaps they can assist you in ways you didn’t expect. Remember to take care of yourself. Endorphins are powerful for creating a positive attitude – get some exercise and a good night’s sleep.
Change can be empowering. It allows us to seize opportunities, develop new skills, and learn more about our co-workers and members in order to serve them best. At the end of the day, we all benefit from a healthy, forward-moving change when we choose to buckle up and get ready to get better!
Pamela Anderson, CPA, CGA