Managing Change in the workplace is a necessity!

Change shows up in the work place in a variety of ways; death of co-workers, change in position, someone going through a divorce, loss of a home or loved one, and the list goes on. In our culture we tend to deny, suppress or even repress the feelings that come up when a loss is experienced.

The average worker spends 8-12 hours a day at the office; relationships are developed with co-workers and supervisors and what impacts one person, can impact all of the team members.  Therefore, it becomes important to provide opportunities for addressing issues that result from change in the workplace.

Roberta Temes suggests that three steps occur when a change or loss is experienced:

Numbness can occur, which effects one’s mechanical functioning and leads to reduced or impaired job performance.  Social isolation can also be a result of numbness, causing members of the team to pull inward, increasing the likelihood of miscommunications or breakdowns in vital communications.

Disorganization occurs when the loss is large and/or impactful to one or more on the team. Feelings of intense pain are experienced because of the loss. Team building/facilitation allows for the expression of feelings and can be very helpful.

With compassion and communication the individual and team return to a more “normalized” milieu, experiencing Reorganization.

A compassionate and communicative atmosphere in the office can assist to reduce the impact that comes when an individual or team is dealing with change or loss of any kind. Managers and team members need to adopt a policy to spend time processing changes on a regular basis. When big changes occur, outside help often proves to be helpful.

When we take care of ourselves and our team members everyone benefits!

Handle the challenge of change well, and you can prosper greatly. Handle it poorly, and you put yourself and others at risk” John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber; Authors of Our Iceberg is Melting