Change is inevitable, but what to do about it?

March 29, 2018

As the saying goes, change is a part of life. Good or bad, it’s happening, and one of the best qualities both you and your business can have is adaptability. Whether it’s your work life or your personal life, your ability to continue walking even though the path has changed is the difference between a great day and a terrible one.

At ProWorkflow, we consider ourselves harbingers of change. As such, most of our staff members have talked on the subject of successful change to clients all over the world, for about a decade now. One would like to think this makes us at least somewhat experienced in the field.

As has been noted down many times, change is inevitable, but the aftermath can go one of a few ways.

The Reaction: “Oh no!”

You’ll have seen it before. A change is introduced into your organisation, and suddenly traffic to job seeking websites goes through the roof. Humans are creatures of habit, and when you rip away the safety blanket that is routine, you’re left with a worried individual uncertain about the future, and that’s scary.

The Cure:

If the biggest demon is uncertainty, the best weapon is reassurance, which means information. The more they know, the more confident they are, and the easier change becomes.

The Reaction: “But why??”

Contestably the worst of the four, this is the sleeping dog you pray your change doesn’t wake up. As could be expected, change doesn’t go down so smoothly with those of the headstrong and assertive persuasion.

The Cure:

Unfortunately, there is no ‘cure all’ for this problem, although many have tried. They key to diminishing anger is finding the root cause. If someone is in a foul mood and the office was recently redesigned, you might dig deeper and find their view out the window was blocked. So, grab a shovel, because your salve is buried!

The Reaction: “So What?”

It’s better than fear or anger, but it’s no cake walk. If you want your change to be successful, people have to take it on board, and if they’re going to take it on board, they need to care.

The Cure:

Give them something to be excited about! If they don’t care they might not know why it’s of benefit, or assume it doesn’t relate to them. What to do? Tell them not only does this concern you, but it’ll make your day!

The Reaction: “Finally!”

This is the reaction you’re after! If they’re enthusiastic, it means your change checks all their boxes, and you can rest easy.

You’ll have noticed the one theme that links all of these, and the key to turning an adverse reaction into a good one is communication. If everyone knows the ‘whys’ from day one and is in fact asked to contribute to them, you’ll notice acceptance of change spikes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re implementing project management software or instigating new lunchroom policy, if you involve and communicate from day one your camp will be all the better for it.

 

Got a question? The team at ProWorkflow are happy to help!