Change is going to occur in business – it’s inevitable. There is nothing you can do to control that. How you handle yourself through that change, however, is incredibly important. No one likes change; it’s human nature. Your ability to adapt will not only set an example for your team and those around you, but it will also set a precedent that change is not always something to fear. In fact, change should be embraced more often than not. Here are four simple ways to support your team when dealing with change in the workplace:
- Be Patient: As a leader, you will likely be aware of a change that is going to occur before the rest of your team – whether an employee will be let go, there will be financial cutbacks, or the overall business strategy is taking a hard left turn. Be patient for the push back (or freak-outs) from your team members. All teams have diverse personalities, and it’s your job to make this change as seamless as possible with as little drama as necessary.
- Be Prepared: There will be a lot of questions, and probably most of those will be rooted in the “what if’s” and fear of the unknown. Know the answers to your team’s most basic questions: What is happening, Why is it happening, and What’s next? But also know the resources available to you and your team for any other questions that may come up. If you don’t have the answer, find someone who will. And since nobody can predict the future, have a calm, positive response when you’re just not sure.
- Be Strong: Again, most people act out against change, mainly because it is uncomfortable. It’s human nature that we crave homeostasis, and when that is disrupted, people handle the discomfort in different ways. Do what is necessary to ensure that you provide a united and strong front to your team; focus on the positives and provide comfort and support when necessary.
- And finally, Be Kind: This should be common sense, but oftentimes when stress erupts in the workplace, it is fueled by people’s insecurities and fears. In addition to being patient with people’s diverse personalities, also try to be as kind and empathetic as possible. Your stress will only fuel theirs.
Of course, at the end of the day, everyone’s role is to continue to work with minimal interruption. Not only does a large company shift bring your best (and worst) assets to light, it will often do the same for your team. Set the example that it is business as usual and be sure to take the necessary steps to maintain a positive and empathetic persona in the workplace. In the end, everyone will thank you for it.