Change. One word that instantly inspires a range of different emotions and metaphors. Sometimes change is good, sometimes it’s not so good. Whatever we decide, I think we can all agree that change is usually executed for the better.

What we know for certain is that change is always nervously awaited. People don’t like the idea of change, because we get so used to things as they are, we find comfort in routine and not being directly affected by sporadic movements that can alter what we deem ‘the norm’.

Change at work is always difficult to deal with because more often than not, there will be differing views on the matter within the team.

Anything that effects team morale is a huge concern for business owners because as they should know, people are the most important component for success. Therefore, if they’re unhappy, there’s no way success can materialise.

There are a few things to take into consideration when dealing with change in the office, for employees and business owners.

Win the majority vote

As a manager it is imperative to announce news that effects the whole office positively, ensuring you’ve taken everybody’s considerations into account.

You need to convince your whole team and not just base your final decision on your own benefits. As a good manager, your team should already trust you to make the right decision but you need to illustrate why you deserve that trust and the only way you can do this is by making it an easy transition for all.

As an employee, listening to your manager explaining a need for change can be confusing. However, think about how you can use this opportunity to your advantage. Perhaps this is your chance to rise to new challenges. If you’re supportive during the process, your manager will notice and appreciate your efforts and will listen when you’re looking to discuss your professional development.

Keep talking

Communication is key. You may think you’re keeping the news under wrap but people are intuitive and more often than not, your team will already know something is coming.

It’s really important you avoid gossip because this will make your team feel uneasy as they will assume you’re not being honest. As a manager, you should recognise the different personalities in your team and identify coping strategies for every individual, as some people will need more encouragement than others. You must treat every employee as an individual.

Employees, don’t be afraid to talk to your colleagues and your manager about your concerns. There’s no point letting it all build up and coming to your own anxious conclusions.

An open door policy goes a long way. Change sometimes inspires fear, the only way to cure this is to find clarity.

Remain optimistic

This is the most important component of all. Remember that negativity spreads, so if you’re not spending time ensuring messaging surrounding the ‘change’ are positive, you could be in trouble.

The same goes for all employees, as long as you’ve taken the above steps, there’s no reason why you should see this as a bad omen. I know change is scary, but a lot of change is good. It provides you with a basis for improvement and can give you a fresh start.

Think of change like chance; there is no right or wrong in a moment of chance, but taking one is always a step forward.

Article courtesy of:
James Caan CBE
Serial Entrepreneur and Investor in People with Passion


For a great book on dealing with change, read “Who Moved my Cheese” by “Dr Spencer Johnson” 

You can buy the book here. 

Spencer Johnson, MD, is one of the world’s leading authors of inspirational writing. He has written many New York Times bestsellers, including the worldwide phenomenon Who Moved My Cheese? and, with Kenneth Blanchard, The One Minute Manager. His works have become cultural touchstones and are available in 40 languages.