There is one thing in life that is constant: Change. In the workplace, you can be sure that at some point you will experience change and transition. As employees are promoted and new policies are implemented, it's important to have the ability to navigate changes to prevent a decline in morale and lack of productivity.
As we go to work each week, we grow used to the same systems and structures. When something comes along to disrupt what we are used to, we may naturally go into defense or survival mode. Although change in most cases is for the better, it can be difficult to get over the initial shock.
In an effort to create a healthy work environment during change and transition, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Set small goals to get you to the larger goal. Celebrate the success of those small goals. Paint a picture of what the final result looks like.
- No matter how exciting the change is, expect a sense of loss. Celebrate what is left behind and honor it with those around you. Do not dishonor the past and the people who created it. Change is not always easy for everyone—it is typically the "loss" that people react to, not the actual change.
- Consider the impact of change: Who is losing what in the change? How will all of this affect different people?
- Gain the trust of those you are leading during the change. Help them understand why change is needed, what it looks like, and how things will be better for them. Check in often with them, and encourage and support them in the process.
- Be patient in transition: "Rome wasn't built in a day."
Written by Denise Fase, GR Initiative for Leaders. Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders is a faith-based organization created by alumni of the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI). GR Initiative for Leaders invests in emerging teen and adult leaders by providing training programs. Each program uses a scripturally based curriculum to help leaders expand or develop the core values of balance, accountability, empowerment, interdependence, leverage, and diversity. To learn more about leadership training opportunities or to get involved with GR Initiative for Leaders, go to www.GRILeadership.org or call 616.301.6697.