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Concerning New Developments: How to Help Your Employees Navigate Change and Anxieties In the Workplace

Stability and consistency in the workplace are paramount to the success of your team’s productivity and ability to grow collectively. There is freedom in the regularity of an enterprise operating with congruity from the day-to-day. Homeostasis allows employees to focus on the tasks at hand with an underlying sense of reassurance. What happens when with […]

Stability and consistency in the workplace are paramount to the success of your team’s productivity and ability to grow collectively. There is freedom in the regularity of an enterprise operating with congruity from the day-to-day. Homeostasis allows employees to focus on the tasks at hand with an underlying sense of reassurance.

What happens when with little to no warning, change introduces itself into the corporate environment? Markets and industries always fluctuate; companies, internally, are not immune to this principle. Whether it’s widely known within the operation or the writing was on the wall in invisible ink, organizations are perpetually in a state of transition and transformation. Acquisitions, buyouts, changes in leadership, departmental downsizing; internal and external circumstances can create a chaotic atmosphere amongst your employees.

Anxiety, uncertainty, and an influx of varying emotions can run rampant within your team without management intervening and neutralizing or minimalizing to manageable levels of concern. The disruption will not be permanent, but if not handled purposefully, can have lasting effects and unintended consequences. Your employees may show signs of resistance to this interruption of the office status quo. There are a lot of moving parts when change infiltrates a workplace, below are some guidelines and powerful strategies to assist your team in coping with the aftermath of new developments at their job.

Be available to your employees who are sensing that changes are looming. While the inner workings of restructuring or tides turning might not be something you can disclose in the early stages, you can listen to and should observe any variations in your employees’ engagement. General uneasiness, fear of employment status, and the questioning of compensation or benefits being the next thing to change can create a negative atmosphere. New challenges at work sparked by a pivot in organizational direction are inevitable. Still, the anxieties of your employees concerning yet-to-be-disclosed actions in the businesses structurally hierarchy shouldn’t come without a conversation. Talk to your employees; reassure them that their position and themselves are essential to the company.

When the implementation of change comes to fruition, have all the answers to questions you’re able to address. Your employees will be coming directly to you for information. You will have to be articulate and on the same page as senior leaders to communicate what is transpiring effectively. Miscommunicating after the jolting news of veering off the company’s previous course can send aftershocks that further destabilize your workplace’s psyche. When identifying the change, explain why it occurred, layout how, in the long run, this is positive to the firm, how it will benefit team members, and what are the next courses of action.

The use of emotional intelligence and displays of genuine empathy are impactful tools in supporting your team. Since decisions will likely come from above, your department may feel isolated or not in control of their futures, which can manifest in stress and low spirits. Help them understand that their welfare is a priority to you. Opposition to change is always a possibility in the corporate setting. Don’t try to undermind the angst and resistance to the new circumstances; instead, embrace it and try to discover solutions to help better your employee’s understanding of how things can be positive for them. Accept their feedback, validate their feelings. Empower them to take the initiative of the items in their control of what they’d also like down differently and offer up a commitment to do the same on their behalf. You are their support system and a shepherd to their coping skills.

Create minor victories and quick turn around wins. In sizable corporate surroundings, change happens at a snail’s pace. In the interim, allow your unit to find success in intangible and tangible ways. Let them create change in their realm, and give them the agency to try new methods that can breed efficiency, enthusiasm, and trust.

Provide comprehensive training opportunities and dedicate resources to preparation. Some changes may purely be operational. If there is an implementation of new procedures, software, systems, or an overhaul of services, it’s crucial to emphasize giving your team who is enduring change, all of the tools to succeed in this new chapter for your company. Erring on the side of preparedness will yield dividends during the transition process.

Reward those embracing the pivot with recognition and continue to encourage those who are adopting change at their measure. Get all on board by maintaining a confident outlook as obstacles now come into realization is infectious. Guiding your contingent during developing and wavering times won’t be easy, but it’s an approach that is necessary to productivity and morale as the company approaches calmer waters. A commitment to optimism and unity will overcome all fleeting self-doubts. As a leader, you can use your team’s collective alertness and energy and mobilize them towards uncharted territories, where they can reach greater heights.

Follow Carsten Thiel on his website and Twitter.

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