CAN YOU CHANGE?
To change is easy. It begins with being a better listener. It is about knowing that change is inevitable and learning to grow from experiences. To change in one’s workplace can be an interesting and positive process – it can bring people together as they share their experiences and become stronger in their journey to become better performers, says Upasna Pandey
Change at workplace can bring out mixed reactions from different people. It can be a radical reaction or emotional outburst or simple recognition of the fact that change is inevitable. It is critical how one chooses to respond to change – the choice is between exploiting change as an opportunity to achieve higher goals or to be pushed two steps backwards on the corporate ladder.
Let us look at the various facets of change and how it can be dealt by employees to get the best out of a situation.
Understand the Problem
When an individual or an organization focuses the change effort on the wrong target, the effort is doomed from the start. It is critical to know what is your individual problem and not simply look at way of changing things because it is working well for someone else.
Before beginning to invest in time, money and energy, of your company and your team, get some help in order to diagnose and understand the problem.
Know Why It Is Important to Change
Once you have identified your core problems, it is essential to understand why it is important to change. Many change efforts fizzle out because the person or organization loses interest or focus on the change being made. The individual or organization needs to have thorough understanding of how they will benefit from the change and why it is a top priority to follow through.
Identify The Obstacles
Any individual seeking to change work processes must recognise all the factors that stand in the way of changing the ways of doing things. Some of the obstacles that can interfere with organizational or personal change efforts are –
Old habits of thought and behavior, time, lack of shared commitment, budgets, family conflicts, lack of support, , inertia, etc.
Develop The Plan For Action
To achieve a successful change, it is vital that a detailed plan of action is drafted before one gets started. This plan must include specific action steps, the timing of the steps, who is to be involved, the mechanism for acquiring feedback and a standard for measuring success. These plans must be open to revision.
Get Feedback And Refine The Plan
Collection of feedback is the next important step to ensure change is on track. Simply changing behaviour is not the end of the successful change process. Peak performers usually focus on collecting feedback to monitor the impact of their changes in their specific environment. Even if preset goals are achieved, it is vital to find out if the change produced the desired result. It is important to get your feedback, review it, determine your level of success, refine your strategy and start again.
Now let us study some simple ways to handle change at the workplace and survive amalgamations, mergers etc in one’s organisation:
Knowing that change is inevitable is also about being always ready for it.
You will be able to handle changes as they come if you anticipate that things are bound to change. Keep in mind that things constantly change, nothing stays the same over long periods of time, and that the first step for you to surviving change is anticipating it.
Being A Positive Thinker
Individuals who are essentially optimistic are able to handle change better than those who are driven by negative thinking. It is important to avoid focusing on the negative aspects of any change occurring at the workplace – it just besets one with insecurities, fears and doubts. These things can greatly hinder one’s ability to cope with and positively adapt with change.
Keep An Open Mind
It is vital to keep an open mind when handling change and even more critical to stay positive in one’s approach. Try to see the benefits or the “good side” of these changes. Don’t let fear, doubt, irrational thoughts and anxiety stop you from having an open mind and a rational outlook.
Keep Your Thumb On Changes
When organizations change their work process, many employees are surprised because they are clueless about the upcoming developments.
Sometimes change can come abruptly, but more often, it occurs over a long period of time. When it does, maintain your perspective and try to think of ways on how you can cope with and adapt with these changes.
Be An Active Participant
Learn to be in charge when facing change in the office. Don’t be a passive participant in the changes that are happening in and around you. Work with the changes happening, not against it.
Learn To Adapt to changes
One must also learn that changes that occur in the workplace are also affecting others around them. You are not isolated in your experience, so share your learnings and never stop or hinder people around you from changing or moving on because of a change. Accept the change and adapt with it. Change happens for a reason and the more quickly you are able to adapt and move on, the higher your productivity at work.
Learn To Enjoy Life
Don’t let change at workplace change the way you live your life. Learn to enjoy life and grow with changes. Maintain a positive outlook about life.
An interesting way to deal with change is by helping and encouraging other people who may be undergoing the same change you are going through.
Look ahead and be prepared for more changes: It’s true that the only thing constant in the world is change. One can expect change to occur every minute and the best way to face up to change is to be prepared for it and make the best out of it.
It is important for team leaders and managers to identify the best ways of helping employees cope and adapt to make the best use of a change.