JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With the environment changing so rapidly and businesses doing all they can just to compete, we are all going through a never-ending change at work.
How you react and adapt to this changing environment could ultimately lead to your success or failure in the workplace. In many ways, the office is Darwinism at its finest, and those with the most current skill sets or the most political savvy are the ones who survive.
We all go through the average day at the office and then all of sudden we are told to do things differently. What causes our perfect routine that we have worked so hard to master, to be turned upside down?
There are many reasons that change creeps into our work life. A new boss, changes at the top and changes in the environment all force any organization to adapt. As we know with sports, when a team is consistently losing, they change their coach and he brings in his own style which the athletes have to adapt to. Some other factors include new technology or new laws. No matter what the reason, if these organizations don't adapt to the new environment they face a slow death. Throw in a bad economy and that "out of business" sign is hung much quicker.
Why are people so against change?
Well, like most things our job has a learning curve. When we clear the learning curve we feel we have accomplished something and we can now focus on the finer points that allow us to our job efficiently and effectively. Simply put, we like routine; we get comfortable and just when we've figured out the answers now they change the questions. So you have that frustration to start with, now there's a chance you'll lose status and your place in the new office order, because with change, even the social structure is shaken up.
What are some worker responses to major changes?
First of all it is important to note that people react emotionally and irrationally to change. It ranges from disenchantment, disengagement and disidentification to outright sabotage and criminal activity. At the one end of the spectrum, unhappy workers talk a lot and their negativity becomes contagious. Statements like "this will never work", "this is a waste of time", "they tried this before and nothing got accomplished" are all part of this. At the other end, sabotage could cost the company dearly or even lead to workplace violence. Honey on computer keyboards in the 80s is an example of this.
What can managers do to make the change easier for their workers?
Explain the strategy, explain where the workers fit, explain the rationale behind the need to change, be empathetic, be the calming influence, but don't insult their intelligence.
First Coast News