How to smooth the way for workplace change

They say a change is as good as a holiday, right?

Well, there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be the case at work. Change is good! It refreshes our environment, wakes people up and injects a burst of energy. Problem is, sometimes people don’t cope well with change. Routine is comfortable and reassuring so a bit of panic can often set in.

Office rearrangement

Those clever productivity consultants love to shift things around in offices. Or maybe you’ve had some sexy new infrastructure installed. Moving Kelly away from the window or shifting Dan’s desk too far from the printer could cause a smidge of pushback. But not if change is a regular element in your work environment. Honestly, the more you change things up, the more people get used to change, innovation and new ideas, and the more flexible and adaptable they become. When you show how change is a positive because of the cool rewards it brings, people tend to jump in, boots and all!

How to do it right: Gather the gang around and explain the reasons for the rearrangement … smarter workflow, clearer communication, shiny new toy. If possible, set a time for the whole team to move everything at once so that it’s all done in one go, minimising the disturbance. Getting everyone involved in a team effort is a great way to maintain harmony and have every person invested in the result.

New staff arriving

When new blood walks through the door, the best-case scenario is a warm welcome and a quick transition from ‘newbie’ to embedded teammate. Humans are naturally curious and cautious when newcomers arrive on the scene, so onboarding is super important, not just for the benefit of the new kid in town but for the whole community.

How to do it right: Your team deserves and needs to know who’s about to join. Introducing the new recruit on the day they’re officially hired is usually smarter than bringing them in ‘cold’ on their first day of work. Even better, making sure you have a healthy culture all the time – warm, inviting and open to new people joining the business – makes for seamless, effortless, natural intros every time.

Introducing new software

So, you’ve re-evaluated your processes and you’re putting a new improvement in place. That’s exciting!! Unfortunately, getting staff excited can be tough. We’re not all licensed to drive crazy-smart computer packages, are we? They sure can be intimidating … but they don’t have to be.

How to do it right: Help your crew understand how the new software will make their jobs easier, save on paperwork or eliminate double handling. Make sure everyone receives solid training in the use of the software and that they have access to the appropriate tech wizards who can answer questions when needed.

Team involvement is key

When a team is presented with something new that they have no input into or control over, it’s pretty natural for them to feel a bit unimportant. The key to introducing workplace change is to get your employees involved in the decision-making, even if it’s just in the smaller decisions. We all like to feel like our input matters. When you give employees the chance to ‘buy in’ to any new arrangement, they get with the program a lot faster and everybody’s happy!

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