How to effectively deal with change in the workplace
Are you facing change in the workplace? While new situations at work can be overwhelming, we’ve compiled a list of strategies that you can use to cope with change. New positions can be intimidating but they’re also an opportunity to develop new skills so that you can advance your career.
Why do we fear change so much?
There are many reasons why people fear change. While the cause of this fear is unique to each person, there are some common reasons why people are afraid of change. Common anxieties include the fear of failure or rejection. Many people also worry about being criticized. Another common cause of anxiety is the fear of the unknown. Research in the field of neuroscience shows that change can trigger a threat response in the brain which results in stress. The brain requires additional neural energy to deal with uncertainty, which can have negative impacts on memory and performance.
7 tips to effectively deal with change in the workplace
1. Understand that change is inevitable
Accept that change is a part of life and this includes your work environment. In a world that is facing rapid changes, companies need to adapt by moving people to different positions as new needs arise. While change can be daunting, it can also help to keep your work interesting. You can develop new capabilities when you are required to work on different projects.
2. Acknowledge the change and face your fears
The first step to accepting change in the workplace is to acknowledge it. Not only do you need to acknowledge the change rather than resist it, you also need to accept the feelings that accompany your new situation. Making a list of your fears can help you to stop ruminating on them. Examine each fear and write down what strategy you could use if that situation took place. Having a plan in place can help to reduce your stress levels.
3. A positive attitude is vital to overcoming change
A positive attitude is essential if you want to manage change in the workplace. Try to be optimistic as you consider the new situation you need to deal with. It helps to consider how your skills and experience can help you succeed in your new position. A negative outlook can make a challenging situation even worse so it’s best to maintain a good attitude.
4. Grow with the changes and learn new skills
Take the opportunity to develop new capabilities. Compile a list of the capabilities you need to succeed in your new position and put aside time each week to spend on developing these skills. It’s valuable to develop new capabilities and gain experience in different areas as a new skill set can help you to advance your career.
5. Communicate and ask as many questions as possible
Expand your network by connecting with the people who you’ll be working within your new position. Get your working relationships off to a good start by introducing yourself to your colleagues and delivering a reliable performance. Arrange to meet with the person who worked in your role before you so that you can learn as much as possible from them. Ask questions to ensure that you have all the information you need to succeed in your new position.
6. Reduce stress and anxiety
Change in the workplace can trigger anxiety and stress. If you feel that you don’t have any control over the situation, it can increase the levels of stress you experience. Knowing how to handle anxiety is important in order to cope with a new situation. Trying to resist inevitable change or suppressing the feelings that accompany the changes, can result in higher stress levels. Acknowledging your emotions and using strategies to cope with the change can help to reduce anxiety.
7. Remember the wider context
Remembering the wider context is helpful when you’re dealing with change. Write down your career goals and put them in a place where you can see them. Consider how your new position can help you achieve these goals. While you may be intimidated at first, your new position may help you get where you want to be in your career. Focus on delivering an excellent performance at work and you’re sure to impress your new colleagues.