Unless you make continuous learning in the workplace your top priority, your job may be on the line. I want you to hold on to that thought. I will expound on it later. For now, let’s talk about change and its impact.
It’s no secret we’re now living in a world that is entirely different than the one we used to know.
Yes, the world is going through a total transformation. Things are changing at breakneck speeds. The reality is, there’s no turning back.
It’s obvious that the internet and cheap bandwidth are responsible for the disturbing change. We’re in the middle of a digital revolution that is creating panic and uncertainties.
Many people in the workplace are frozen waiting for things to get back to normal. Somehow, they think their company is going through a temporary crisis. They are unaware that this new normal world.
The reality is, change can be both scary and exciting at the same time. The things that frighten us the most sometimes bring incredible opportunities with them.
But, those opportunities will only be available to a few. Only those that are willing to embrace change will capitalize on them.
“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Learn, Unlearn And Relearn To Stay Relevant
According to Eric Hoffer, you should be afraid if you are not you embrace continuous learning in the workplace.
So, I strongly advise you to continue to learn, unlearn, and relearn. If not, you’ll soon find yourself completely unnecessary in the workplace. Your skills will become obsolete.
That means you will not have a future in your company. But, the continuous learners will rise and soar to the top.
I am not trying to threaten you by any means. I am just sharing some good old common sense advice with you.
That’s what I mean when I say change sometimes brings incredible opportunities with it.
Not long ago, I delivered a motivational keynote presentation on change for Cbeyond. They an Atlanta-based company acquired by Birch Communications.
Cbeyond is an innovative company that stays on the cutting edge of technologies. Their employees told me in countless ways how well the company treats them. I hope Birch Communications keeps the same reputation.
At the time, they were facing a tough challenge. Their mandate was to be totally a cloud-based company within five years. It was necessary so they can stay competitive and profitable.
If you are not at the forefront of technology, you probably don’t know yet about cloud technology. It’s like running your entire business without hard drives, thumb drives, or storage devices. Everything is in the cloud.
That’s the future. Even the software we once bought at the electronic store is not in the cloud. Soon, no one will have a need for a hard drive.
That means you don’t need hundreds of wires to connect your computers with each other. They are all connected in the cloud. That’s amazing! Isn’t it?
My advice to the employees was simple. I told them that this change is a gift. It’s their opportunity to remain relevant. They need to embrace and accept it.
I encouraged them to excel in cloud technology. Learn everything that there is to learn about it. The reality is, this technology is not a fad. It is here to stay. It’s either they master it or become irrelevant in the workplace.
New Challenges And Problems
Today, new and different kinds of challenges or problems confront us. As they say in the digital age, the moment you figure out how something works, it’s obsolete.
As soon as the members of your team huddle to solve a problem, another one surfaces. It’s like someone is throwing curve balls at you constantly.
Sometimes, you find yourself unprepared to deal with the new problems or challenges. What do you do?
Choose to unlearn and relearn. Refuse to remain stuck in the past.
Unlearning and relearning will enable you to make swift decisions to solve tough problems.
Together, you have to outsmart and out-think the competition to win. The days when one would learn some new skills and repeat them for the next 20 years are over.
During these difficult and uncertain times, you have to be a perpetual student. You have to be and stay informed.
You can’t wait around for someone to tell you what and when to learn. No. It’s your job to stay current and relevant in the workplace.
The New Competition In The Workforce
Would you say that your competition is fiercer than ever as an employee? You bet! In the past, you were competing with a handful of people in your field.
Today, you would be surprised to discover who is your competition. As far as I know, you may be competing with a 24 years old in a remote village in the Philippines, India, or Jamaica.
What’s unnerving about this is the fact that your competition is willing to work for a fraction of your salary. I’m not saying it’s a good thing nor am I bragging about it.
I’m just trying to raise your awareness so you can step up your game. I’m attempting to cajole and persuade you to be a continuous learner in the workplace. You have to stay relevant and competitive.
I know we cannot replace high touch with high tech. Human beings need interactions to function. People don’t do business with companies. They do business with people.
A worker in Romania probably cannot provide such human connection. Yes, social media is providing the means for us to connect with each other. But, I doubt it can replace a warm face to face smile.
The point I’m trying to convey to you is very simple. Continuous learning in the workplace is your leverage. During these turbulent times, that’s what will make indispensable. That’s what will give you the edge.
Listen to Eric Hoffer’s advice or you will wake up to find yourself beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exist.
You finally landed that position you wanted so badly in your company. After all your hard work, you got a promotion. Yahoo! You are now a manager. You’re feeling great, and everyone is congratulating you.
It’s Monday. You are excited and ready to start managing. However, there’s one problem. Things are not all that rosy during your first week.
You discover fast that your company had no user’s manual on how to manage employees effectively in the workplace. You notice that you’re getting resistance from some of your team members.
For whatever reason, they are not ready to embrace you as the new manager. After all, you just moved up the ranks. It’s hard for them to accept the fact that you are in charge.
But wait a minute. Your boss didn’t give you the promotion because he or she wanted to hand you a big raise. No. He or she expects you to know how to manage people. More money means more responsibilities and critical thinking.
Suddenly, you start having second thoughts. You begin to wonder if you made the right choice by accepting the position. You start experiencing some fear. You are no longer as excited as you were.
Out of desperation, you are thinking maybe flexing your managerial muscles might be the answer. Now you are sending cues that you call the shot. You tell the team what to do. But, your tactics are not working.
What do you do? Do you step down and give up, or do you fight? The answer is neither. I can assure you that it’s too early to back down and give up. You don’t want to fight your team members either.
The good news is; you can shine in your new position. You can show your boss that you have the mojo for the job. You can manage employees effectively in the workplace. Here’s what you need to do:
4 Things You Can Do To Manage Employees Effectively In The Workplace So You Can Impress Your Boss
1. Make Some Small Emotional Deposits
People are like bank accounts. Unfortunately, most of them have empty accounts. They are emotionally broken. They suffer from low self-esteem. Some might even perceive your promotion as a threat to them.
I encourage you to start making small deposits quickly. What kind of deposits should you make?
Well, deposit appreciation, kindness, praises, and recognition. You see, the moment you become a manager, your role changes. You are now a leader. Your job is to encourage, persuade, and inspire your team members to perform at their best.
As you might know, no one performs at their best when they are feeling less of themselves.
Keep in mind that there’s a deep craving in all human beings. They crave validation. They want to know they matter.
You can become the most exceptional manager in your company by validating everyone on your team.
The best part is, no matter how many deposits you make in a day, your bank account remains full. When you give kindness or love, you generate even more of it.
People will move mountains for you when you make them feel good about themselves. They will make sure you get what you want. The equation is very straightforward.
Give them what they want, and they will give you what you want.
My suggestion for you is to call for a meeting right away. Let your team members know how much you appreciate them. Tell them that their contribution means a lot to you. Tell them you cannot succeed without them.
Remind them that you are NOT perfect. Sometimes you will make mistakes. Invite them to give you feedback. Tell them if there’s anything you can do to help anyone, you are ready and available.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’re patronizing. It’s just pure psychology. Your team members must NOT get the idea that you have a big ego. You don’t want them to feel you’re better than them.
2. Correct Behaviors Instead Of People
The next thing you want to keep in mind is the fact that people are inherently good in spite of their flaws. Behaviors are not people. They are just what they are. As a manager, you should learn how to correct behaviors instead of people.
I have a simple motto when it comes to managing employees in the workplace. Attack the behavior and love the people. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say John is coming late to work every day. Talk to John about the behavior. Tell John that this behavior is not him.
Say something like, “That’s very unlike you. Is there anything I can do to help you correct this new behavior? I value and appreciate you on my team. Let’s work together to eliminate this behavior before it escalates.”
Do you see the difference? You’re speaking about John’s behavior. I guarantee you that he will do everything within his power to make his wrong right.
That goes for everything good you want for your department. Simply put, join forces with your team members to help them correct their undesirable behaviors.
Do not talk about the person. Instead, praise the person while confronting the behavior. An excellent way to go about it is to name the specific behavior while expressing your appreciation for the person. Does that make sense to you?
4. Show Your Team Members You Care About Them
Your job as a manager is to care genuinely about your team members. Look, I’m not talking about faking sincerity. Just be sincerely sincere.
You see, it’s impossible to make it without your team members. They are the wind beneath your wings. You cannot fly high without them. Can you spell success without the letter u? That’s my point!
The moment you get what I’m saying here, you begin to have more appreciation for the people who can help you soar to the top of your company. Here’s how you show them that you care.
a. Be a private investigator. Learn as much as you can about individual team members. The more you know about a person, the deeper you connect with that person.
Life is not easy. Everyone is going through something. If you notice someone is struggling, don’t ignore it. Show that you care. And find out how you can help.
b. Listen Authentically. Sometimes all you have to do to show you care is to take a moment to listen to someone’s venting without the urge to judge. Did you know that listening is the greatest gift you can give to a person?
c. Go beyond work. Another way to show you care is to keep score with their children or family members. People love to talk about their kids. You might be thinking, “What about if they don’t have kids?”
No problem. Be interested in what they care about. Discover their deepest desires, aspirations, or passion so that you can encourage and cheer them on.
5. Help Them Bond And Connect
When I’m keynoting conferences, I always do my best to help my audience members connect. Why? It’s because I know once they connect, the energy level in the room goes up.
Whenever you have a disconnected team, you also have a slow-moving team. Things don’t get done effectively. That can have a direct reflection on you as a leader.
Yes, as a leader, you should expect whatever goes wrong will come back to you. It’s your responsibility to make sure things are moving in the right direction.
There are several ways to help your team bond. You can create activities that require group participation.
For example, you can ask your team members to write one good thing about each other and share it at the next meeting. Or ask them to discover something interesting about each other that no one knows.
You can also pair them up to work on side projects with you, such as community involvement.
What’s important here is to realize once you help your team members bond, they begin to bond with you as well. They have a better attitude. Their morale goes up.
By the way, although this is beyond the scope of this article, the more you help your team members to bond and connect, the longer they will stay with the company.
People love to belong to healthy and caring communities. As a result, they don’t want to leave, so they don’t experience the pain of disconnect.
Hopefully, you notice all the ideas I shared with you focus on your team members instead of you. Why?
Well, managing effectively in the workplace is never about you. It’s about them. When you disappear to make them appear, you get more out of your team.
The moment you become a manager, you check your ego out of the door. Your job is to boost the bottom line through your team members.
So, make them shine. Be there for the people whose cooperation you need to succeed. That’s what great leaders do.
It’s the best way to how you go from a junior manager to a senior manager. That’s how you break the so-called glass ceiling. That’s how you rise to the top of your company.
Simply put, serve your team, and they will serve you.
I would love to hear your strategies for managing effectively in the workplace. Please take a moment to share.
Also, if you would like me to share these strategies and many others with the managers and supervisors in your workplace, contact my office or share my information with the person who can make it happen.
Let’s face it. The corporate environment is changing at a dizzying speed. Breakthrough technologies are radically shifting the way we live and do business.
Companies are forced to initiate change in order to respond to new customer needs and stay competitive.
You now have to squeeze all you can out of the few resources you still have available. On top of that, you are expected to provide better customer service, better quality, and at faster speeds.
Well, your customers or clients are more demanding than ever. They now have far more choices than in the past. They have less patience and tolerance.
The competition is getting fiercer. Because the digital revolution has lowered the barrier to entry in practically every field, the smaller players can afford to snatch customers from the big players on a dime.
It’s obvious that today’s workplaces have real problems that are begging for real solutions.
So, what does that all mean to you?
It means that if you want to succeed and be indispensable in today’s corporate environment, you have to become a real problem solver. Otherwise, you’re an unnecessary dead weight.
Be Indispensable Or They’ll Dispense With You
To be indispensable and relevant in today’s corporate arena, you must be a multi-dimensional thinker.
You see, most people look at problems and challenges with a static and linear mindset. They don’t know how to unleash their imagination. I call them one-dimensional thinkers.
I’ll use a story from my life to illustrate this point.
In 1983, I arrived in the US with $5, two shirts and one pair of pants. I didn’t speak any English. As you might guess, I had to deal with some disruptive and disturbing changes.
Simply learning how to communicate was like climbing Mount Everest for me. It was tough. But I dared to face the challenge with an open mind and bulldog tenacity. As a result…
After a few short years, I was living the “American Dream.” I was on the speaking circuit motivating employees in Fortune 500 companies all over North America.
Considering my humble beginning in a tiny and impoverished village in Haiti, this was a spectacular feat. And here’s the real kicker…
I had zero connections and resources. You could say I knew how to do more with less. In fact, I still do.
And if you’re willing to open your mind and let me enter, I will share my secrets with you—secrets that willmake you indispensable during your company’s mergers and acquisitions. Secrets that’ll help you thrive in times of transition and change.
So, what are these secrets?
1- Approach Problems With A New Paradigm
The dictionary defines a paradigm as a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about.
Based on that definition, it makes sense that we each have our paradigm when it comes to problem-solving.
Most people, however, have a very narrow or myopic paradigm. They try to solve problems within a small box. They never challenge themselves to think outside of it.
I’d like to challenge you to step now outside of that small box and consider the following:
The flip side of a problem is the solution. It’s like flipping a coin. One side is always attached to the other. The problem is attached to the solution.
The difference is in your paradigm or your idea regarding how a problem should be solved. To put it simply, if you open your mind up and shift your paradigm, new solutions will follow.
So, how do change your paradigm? To change your paradigm, you need to ask yourself powerful questions that elicit powerful answers.
Whenever you are facing a tough challenge or change, ask yourself these three questions:
Question number one: “What are my opportunities for this change?”
Question number two: “What are my risks?”
Question number three: “What else can I do to overcome this challenge?”
As you ask yourself the first two questions notice that your opportunities often outweigh your risks. Notice, also, that the last question keeps revealing more and more answers.
Don’t stop at the first, second, third, or even the fourth answer. Thousands of possibilities exist. Just keep asking yourself, “What else can I do to overcome this challenge?”
By the way, I highly encourage you to create three lists and write down as many answers as possible to the above questions.
2- Have A 360-Degree Perspective
Creative people look at a problem or challenge as if it is a ball. They spin it and inspect it from every side until they find opportunities or solutions.
This is how you look at a problem with a 360º mindset and find the possibilities during organizational change.
Let me make a quick point here…
There were many young people who arrived in the US around the same time I did. Most of them struggled within the first year of the change process and gave up.
They settled for just about anything that was convenient. They chose the path of least resistance.
Because they failed to see the possibilities and opportunities this great country offers. They were asking themselves the wrong questions.
On the other hand, I struggled just the same. But, instead of giving up I kept asking myself one question: “How can I succeed in this country?” Simply put, I had a different perspective.
I read countless books on success until I found the answers to that one question.
At the time, we were living in Miami. And the other guys were thinking: Miami. That’s all they could see.
But I didn’t just see Miami or the state of Florida. That’s limited thinking. I saw the United States of America—a vast land of opportunity.
The short explanation is that I looked at my challenges with a 360º mindset. I spun my problems around like a ball and carefully analyzed every side to uncover more solutions and opportunities.
But the bottom line is you can only see what you are prepared to see!
Let me be a bit more specific.
Your Brain Is Lazy By Default
If your brain has to choose between work and rest, it will choose the rest. Look at it this way:
If you could get everything you want without doing any work, you would settle for that. Right?
The thing is if you allow your brain to take the path of least resistance, it will take it. You have to force it to think of more ways to solve your problems.
Let’s say your company is going through a merger or acquisition. By continuing to ask yourself the three questions I listed above, you can discover thousands of possibilities and opportunities.
That’s the key difference between those that achieve massive success and those that continue to struggle in a dead-end position or situation. That’s why some make it to the c-suite level and others don’t.
3- Unlearn And Relearn
Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
Basically, you can’t remain the same old you and expect to succeed in a world that is so radically different. New challenges require new knowledge.
If you are stuck on a problem, seek new and pertinent knowledge to stimulate your brain for answers. Discard your old self and reinvent who you are to deal with your current challenges
There’s a reason dinosaurs are no longer roaming the planet. They couldn’t adapt to change.
But here’s the good news: you are not a dinosaur. You can continue reequipping and reinventing yourself to survive and thrive in the new corporate environment.
I’m sure you already know this: you cannot expect to stay relevant today with yesterday’s mentality.
You have to be willing to unlearn and relearn new relevant information to get new and fresh insights. Glean ideas from books, trainings, and mentoring relationships.
Maybe one-dimensional thinking worked in the past. But I promise you, it’s not going to work in this new and complex world.
If you continue to look at your problems and challenges from the same angle, you are guaranteed to create the same results.
If you want to be indispensable, be a problem solver. Never look at your situation in a static and one-dimensional manner.
There are, indeed, thousands of ways to overcome anything if you’ll open your mind to new possibilities. But as I said before, you can only see what you are prepared to see.
When companies are going through disturbing changes and low morale in the workplace, the best solution is to make sure employees are inspired and motivated to face their daily challenges. Unfortunately, many companies tend to dismiss this one simple truth.
Far too many bosses are in denial. They claim that motivation is the kind of fluff that doesn’t help their situation. They think more knowledge and skills are the ways to deal with stressful change in the workplace. That’s a false assumption. Let me explain…
A young lady called my office a few months ago. She was planning a meeting for her company. She told me based on the challenges they were facing, they needed someone to boost morale and inspire their team.
However, her bosses didn’t think a motivational speaker was what they needed to help them deal with rapid and difficult change. They wanted her to find either a business consultant, sales or customer service trainer. As far as motivation, they left it up to the team members to motivate themselves.
Tough Times Demand Motivation and Inspiration
The young lady’s challenge was to persuade her bosses to book me as their keynote speaker. She felt like I was the best fit for her event. She wanted me to coach her on how to sell me to her bosses. I did. And, it’s was easy for me to do.
The reality is, most people already know what to do to get more done or succeed through tough times. Stressful changes don’t render individuals incompetent. They simple demotivate them. America’s workplaces are full of highly educated and skilled employees that are unmotivated and disengaged.
Trainings & Skills Are Not A Solution For Low Morale
Let’s say your team members have been in sales for the last 10 years. Suddenly, the economy is tanking. Your company starts implementing some tough changes, do you think the employees need to learn more selling skills in order to rise up to their new challenges?
The answer is a resounding NO!
Yes, there are instances when the people perish for lack of knowledge. But, this is NOT the case. More selling techniques, tricks, and strategies don’t boost morale in the workplace.
What I’m essentially saying is this: Your team already know what they need to do to achieve more and prosper during hard times. They are creative and inventive enough to do more with less. The just lack the motivation to do so.
They need to be fired up to keep pressing on. Someone needs to inspire them to see what’s possible for them in the midst of their difficulties. Most people are more than capable of handling their situation with the right cheerleaders.
There are so many people paying a lot of money to Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers to lose weight. Is it because they don’t know what to do to lose weight? I don’t think so.
Losing weight does not require more skills. Here’s the formula: Eat Less + Exercise More = Weight Loss
A few years ago, I started a quest to learn how wealthy people accumulate their wealth. I called a friend of mine who is a wealthy banker. I asked him to share with me the secret to wealth. I was shocked when he revealed the secret. Would you like to know what it is?
The Secret To Wealth
Save More + Spend Less + Make More = Wealth
That sounds simplistic, isn’t it? But, it is exactly how wealthy people accumulate their wealth. Sure, you can go to seminars after seminars. You can go to college to get a degree in finances. But, none of that would help you get rich.
As a matter of fact, there are lots of highly educated people in the world who are broke. Why? Well, they lack the motivation and inspiration to save more, make more, and spend less.
My point is, your team members don’t need more tools and trainings. That’s not going to boost morale during stressful times in the workplace. They just need to be inspired and motivated to consistently apply what they already know.
Just recently, I had a conversation with a client about my upcoming keynote for her convention. Her workplace is going through some disturbing change. She wants me to boost morale and inspire her audience to see change as a gift instead of a curse. She also mentioned something to me that is even more disturbing than the change they are facing.
She confidently told me there are many old-timers at the top of her company who insist on doing things the old ways. Simply put, they want better and faster results while consistently using outdated thinking. That’s a red flag. Doing business in the present with the mindset of the past is just ridiculous.
Often, those are the same people who butt heads with the young and innovative minds in the company. The sad truth is, they often have enough clout and power to render their business obsolete.
After I got off the phone, I started thinking about the kinds of leaders that are running her company. I wonder if they would consider stepping aside and hand over the helm of the ship to the bright and sharp minds that can lead them into the future. I guess there’s too much involved for that to happen.
It’s understandable for employees to fight and resist change in the workplace. However, when the leaders who are called upon to lead the company are resisting change, there’s a severe problem at hand. Things may look fine now. But, it won’t be long before the unthinkable happens. The writings are on the wall. Here’s a warning:
Change Now Or Prepare Yourself For The Consequences
Real leaders know their limitations. They have the insights to see what’s coming and how to prepare for it. They know to change course when they are heading in the wrong direction. They are flexible enough to take the right action swiftly in order to change with the change.
Recently, I visited my village in Haiti. I discovered the mindset of the villagers is pretty much the same way since I left some thirty years ago. In reality, there’s no real progress. Things are still the same. Consider this…
No Change. No Improvement. No Progress.
My observation led me to believe the people in my village appear to be content to simply survive. I know many people tend to react to change. But, I’m not even sure they are reacting to change. How do I know? Simple.
They are not aware they are living in a new world that requires new thinking and behaviors. They are not taking the necessary actions to change and improve their conditions.
You cannot progress and improve unless you change old thinking and behaviors with new ones. In fact, your business cannot continue to exist unless you’re consistently changing old practices with new ones.
If you’re a leader and you are content with just surviving change, maybe you’re running your business with the same mindset as of the people in my village. That means you will not be able to survive and thrive this new and rapidly volatile economy.
Again, let me warn you that you are in for a rude awakening.
In Times Of Disturbing Change, Swift And Agile Leaders Rule
Real sustainability in volatile economies belongs to those that are flexible enough to respond quickly to new market demands. For example, if you are running your business with old and obsolete computer equipment and software, you have zero sustainability.
Your days in the business arena are numbered. Why? It’s because new markets conditions demand state of the art and cutting technologies. If your customers are using the latest tools, you have to be on the same page with them. If not, they will go somewhere else.
It’s like driving from Florida to New York on a horse and hoping to catch up with your competition. You might get there. However, your competitions will get there before you. By the time you arrive, you will sure find an empty town with no customers or clients to serve.
5 Strategies To Help You Lead Effective In Times Of Disruptive Change
1. Move From Reacting To Anticipating
True transformation occurs when leaders anticipate and create plans for future growth based on market conditions. You have to anticipate future change, so you are prepared for disruptive change.
You don’t want to be a reactor in today’s marketplace. Come to think of it, leaders are not supposed to react to change. They are supposed to lead change. And it’s obvious that you cannot lead from behind.
2. Question Your Assumptions
It’s easy to assume what you’re doing is the right thing. After all, things are looking good on the surface. Well, how about when the wave of change finally catches up with you? Are you prepared?
My suggestion is to question every systems and practice in your business to discover if you are leading or following. There’s always room for improvement. Right? Never assume things are fine. Ask yourself, “Is there a better way to do this?”
Keep improving. Keep innovating.
3. Coach and Mentor Your Team
Now, it’s not always easy to introduce and implement change during turbulent times. Of course, some employees will fight and resist. However, you have to guide and coach them during times of uncertainty.
You have to inspire new behaviors and attitudes in times of change.
Yes, you can bring in some change management consultants to help with the change process. However, after the consultants leave, you have to continue inspiring your employees so they can respond favorable to the new plan.
You see, it takes people to get your company out of the crisis. And they need nurturing. You cannot and will never be able to do it yourself. It takes a committed and caring team.
4. Listen To Their Needs
Be considerate of your employees’ needs. After all, they are human beings. During the change process, their personal needs will clash with your needs.
You have to be a strong but sensitive leader.
So, how do you communicate that you are sensitive when you are walking around with an ax chopping budgets, laying off people, and demanding more for less?
Be a listener. Yes, it’s that easy.
The more you listen to their concerns and needs, the more they see you as a caring and sensitive leader. I caution, however, not to just listen. But, make sure you…
5. Implement Their Ideas Right Away
Listening will help you uncover unique ideas to improve the change process. The faster you implement great ideas from your team, the more in control they feel. You are in essence telling them that they own the change.
They will feel a sense of contribution. They will feel like the matter. As a result, they will be more than willing to make some adjustments. They will be willing to put their needs on hold to cater to yours.
Slowly, they will get into what William Bridges calls in his book, Managing Transitions, the neutral zone. It’s the phase when your employees begin to accept the reality at hand. They may not be ready to fully embrace the change, but they are accepting it.
In conclusion, you have to lead from the front. That means you need to stay abreast and up to date with changing times. You have to keep making the right adjustments in order to stay relevant and competitive. You have to smooth out the rough edges during turbulent and disturbing change.
I’m guessing you landed on this page because you are looking for some information on how to manage change in the workplace. I want to offer you some tips and ideas on how to do so. First, I want to ask you…
Have you ever had moments in the workplace when you were very frustrated with your workloads? There is so much to do.
They want you to do more with less while they keep taking away your resources. They continue to lay off more people. They are asking you to do more with less or else.
You come to work with a cheerful attitude. However, you can’t keep that attitude for too long during the day. After all, you are being overworked and underpaid. I mean, there’s so much change happening that you feel like you want to scream at your boss.
Suddenly, you start thinking about quitting. You are confused. You don’t if you should stay and take the punches or walk away. You want to give up from a job you have already invested so much time and energy into.
You probably are afraid as well. You don’t if you are the next person they will let go on a short notice. Hey, it can happen to you! One new piece of software can replace you and render you unnecessary. That is a scary thought, isn’t it?
Have you ever felt those kinds of feelings in the workplace? Maybe it’s not that hard for you. However, I know your company is going through some kind of change. Most of it is forced upon them by external circumstances.
One of the questions I am asked often as I travel across the United States speaking at conferences is how to manage change in the workplace. People want to know how to stay motivated during these turbulent times.
For whatever reason, most people are fighting change. In fact, many are giving up. They are walking away from their dreams. That is really sad! When we were kids, somebody should have told us that change was necessary for improvement.
Why do we love to cling to old ways of doing things so much? The answer is somewhat simple. As human beings, we love being comfortable. We strive for it. Anything that forces us outside of our comfort zone appears to be a threat.
That’s the reason so many are fighting change in the workplace instead of finding ways to manage it. The bottom line is, you either find a way to manage your circumstances, or they will manage you.
In my book Kick Your Excuses Goodbye, I mentioned that no condition is permanent. However, I should have explained that change is permanent.
All things in the universe are constantly changing. Nothing stays still. The best you and I can do is to learn how to manage change.
3 Simple Ways to Manage Change In The Workplace
1- Learn To Embrace And Accept It
know you have heard this probably a million times. However, as simple as it sounds, it’s the first step toward dealing with change. There’s no other first step. This is it!
Let’s face it, you cannot change the fact that your company is changing things. They are forced to do so by external events or circumstances.
Global competition demands it. It’s the only way to stay relevant and competitive. Why fight something you cannot change?
Of course, you can fight the change that is going on. You have the freedom to do so. But, here’s the bad news: You will never, ever, win. You are fighting a losing battle. And you will, in one way or another, face the consequences.
I know. Maybe you are saying to yourself, “I’m a winner”. Good for you. However, this fight can only be won by embracing the change you are fighting. Simply put, don’t fight against change. Instead, learn to grow and expand with it.
2- Don’t Take Change Personally
Look, your company or your boss is not after you. They are doing it to you. They are not cutting your budget or reducing your staff because they don’t like you. They are doing it so they can get rid of you. Get all of that out of your head.
Everyone is being affected by the violent storms of change. There’s not a single company in the world that can continue to do business as usual.
The reality is, any company that is not radically changing the way they do business will soon go out of business. The competition will eat them alive. And this is not a threat. It’s the reality. It’s the new normal world!
Here’s my best advice for you: Do not internalize what’s going on. What do I mean by that? Well, be an observer. For example, if there’s a layoff going on, see it outside of you.
You cannot feel and experience something that is happening outside of you, right? You simply observe it and say, “This is a layoff.” See the change you are dealing with as an occurrence outside of you.
Look at your problems and challenges just like you look at a tree, a car, or a house. That doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you are in control. It means you can find the solutions without tears.
3- Reinvent And Retool Yourself
Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” If you think the person you have always been can solve your problems, think again.
Imagine you are a manager. You just got a promotion to be the CEO of your company. Do you think who you are as a manager can lead the company as a CEO? No. You have to become a CEO to run the company. You have to think like one. You would need a totally new mindset.
Likewise, you need a brand new mindset to deal with today’s rapid and violent changes. You need to have a new way of thinking. You need fresh knowledge. And best of all, you need a new attitude.
It’s time to retool. It’s time to sharpen your old tools. You need new and fresh skills to deal with today’s challenges. What you learned 10 years ago is not good enough to help survive and thrive in the new economy.
There you have it. I just gave you some insights on how to manage changes in the workplace. Take the time to ponder on them. So many people are giving up in the face of change. I don’t want you to be one of them. You can win in spite of the challenges.
Once you start putting the strategies I just shared with you, your stresses will go away. You will have a more positive attitude. You will boost your productivity in spite of the fact you have to do more with less.
It’s all in your mind. If you keep convincing yourself that you cannot do more with less, you will never think of better ways to do more with less.
I look forward to hearing your feedback or questions for me. Keep pressing on. And remember this: Change is a gift… Embrace it!