Change….just the word alone can be uncomfortable. Face it, most of us do not like change. Large or small, it threatens our established way of doing things,. Even if we do not like parts of the status quo, at least we know how it works. Change forces us to step out of our comfort zone into one of insecurity or doubt.
We must realize change is inevitable to our organizations, our jobs, and ourselves. We cannot ignore change or the forces that bring it about. This is particularly true in our workplace.
The surest way to fail is to continue doing things the same way we have always done them. We cling tenaciously to our paradigms and ignore opportunities to improve our jobs, our product, and our customer service. While it may be uncomfortable, change can be a good thing.
One of the problems with change is that it is often forced on us with little opportunity for input. We are simply informed that something we have done will be done differently (or not at all), and we have to deal with it, or else.
Would you rather be told what to do, or be given a voice in deciding what changes are to occur and how the new procedures will be implemented? Making effective change requires employee involvement, to bring their ideas on how to accomplish the new process. The organization then benefits from the diverse opinions of workers, rather than basing decisions solely on the opinions of a few.
I once heard someone comment, “The problem with change is that it’s not what it used to be.” We are faced with greater demands for change by pressures from within and outside of our environment. We used to be able to make a change, then sit back and catch our breath. We might even use the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the new procedures. Now, the demands for change keep coming at our organizations all the time. We need to be ready to deal with these demands, and having an effective strategy will make this easier.
The more we can involve employees in making workplace change, the more adept they will become at studying the work system to determine what needs to be done. Future changes will be easier, and the complexity of the problems the employees are capable of handling will increase.
Involving our employees will also increase their acceptance of the changes as they and their colleagues feel ownership of the process. The resulting decrease in the resistance to change will help employees and the organization to be more poised for the future.
When considering upcoming workplace changes, be sure to involve you employees. The voice of the workers will help determine the best way to do things. By participating in the change process, you and your colleagues will learn more about your work system, and better understand how to make changes in your environment easier and positive. You might even learn to enjoy change!