A report, “Leading Global Change: A Best Practices Report“, conducted by PeopleNRG, a change management consulting firm, found that organizations and employees are dealing with as many as three to five different change efforts at a time. “Employees are overwhelmed with constant change“, says Lawrence Polsky, managing partner at PeopleNRG. 


Often sweeping changes in the company and large scale reorganizations leave employees befuddled and insecure about their positions. It is a time for change in leadership within the company or change in policies to stir better performance. Here are some tips to keep you alert and work better in a changing environment.

Don’t Oppose Change

For better or for worse, change can be stressful but whatever be the situation; at your workplace or in your personal life – change is inevitable.

Change makes us adaptive to hardships and challenges make us stronger. Our immense capabilities remain hidden in the folds of comfort; a change in the routine or our lives brings forward the endurance power we all have.
Change stirs our lives and that is good, it brings us out of our comfort zones and sets up some new endurance levels, to test and to accommodate to a new lifestyle. Consider change as a new challenge, the more challenges you take upon now gives you more experience, the more experienced you are at different situations the better you learn to adapt when the tide turns.

Some changes or transitions that you may experience at the workplace and some tips on how to effectively manage them are here:


A New Job

Apprehensive about the new job – your first or just transitioning to a new one.. here are some tips on what to do and how to act during the first few weeks:

  • Maintain an open mind to the company policies and people on your first week at work. Be a good listener and see how the process works.
  • Be polite and friendly to all and introduce yourself first, human relations at times count more than your technical expertise.
  • Spend time in reading about your current project, read and re-read any handover notes on your position from a former employee or whatever material your boss hands you.
  • Talk to your colleagues on what all they do in a typical day at work. Don’t feel shy to ask for help, your colleagues would appreciate you more if you did.
  • Dress according to the company culture, dressing up or down may form you an object of ridicule. It is best to be an observer initially and try to blend in with the culture but of course maintain your individuality.
  • Appear and be enthusiastic to learning new things, be ready to face the new situations and work expectations positively.
  • Don’t be a “water-cooler-gossip-star”, hanging out at the cafeteria during work hours or taking long lunch breaks is not what you should be known for. First impressions last long.


A New Boss or New Management

It is best to begin new relationships on trust and support. As much as it is a new change adjusting with the new management or a new boss, it must be the same for them. The employers must plan on creating a supporting environment for any major change at the workplace, but it is also up to you to start on firmer grounds. Here’s how:

  • Start a relationship with trust. It makes it easy to warm up to the person and you feel free with a positive interaction.
  • Introduce yourself, don’t wait for the manager to do so, however most will take time to introduce themselves to the group on joining the new position.
  • Don’t feel shy or nervous to offer some help, remember that the boss is also transitioning to a new role he would be more than pleased to get support from the co-workers and employees.
  • Refrain from saying “our previous boss did it this way”, comparisons are often not welcome and may form a bias against you. You are not there to tell him what the boss has to do and how, just offering some support will do.
  • If you are working flexible hours and working from home at times, communicate to your boss early on. He/she should not be looking for you when you are working from home or leaving work early. Also ask about your boss’s working hours, try to work your schedule around his/her hours as far as you can – at least in the initial months.
  • Communication is the key – to all successful relations. What is your style and what is your supervisor’s communication preference? Your new boss may prefer more face-to-face meetings as opposed to more Email communication (or the other way round). Take time to either assess his working style or just ask his/her preference.
  • Don’t go out the way to impress your new boss; but also don’t be shy or timid to inform him of your achievements. Read some tips on how to be assertive at work here. Don’t forget that you have the job for what you have to offer to the company through your skills and abilities, not on how well you impress the boss.

Company Reorganization, Bankruptcy Filing or Changing Divisions

Often sweeping changes in the company and large scale reorganizations leave employees befuddled and insecure about their positions. It is a time for change in leadership within the company or change in policies to stir better performance. Here are some tips to keep you alert and work better in a changing environment.

  • Keep abreast of company news on any upcoming layoffs or acquiring of new divisions. It is better to have your shoes and be ready to move on and not be in a complete surprise if a mass layoff or group project removal happens. Often it is smart to keep following on company business news in leading papers and sometimes internal rumors are true too.
  • How is your company performing overall? Where are the stocks headed and what is the funding future for your company? All these related questions and their answers point to your orgs future. Better be informed than be alarmed when suddenly one fine day a not-so-pleasing news springs up.
  • Do not expect that the company would be sensitive to your needs or family responsibilities that you hold, when the axe falls if often chops off a huge chunk without evaluating who all are affected. Always keep your work and resume up-to-date. Document your accomplishments today and always.
  • During reorganizations or changing groups you might be required to work some extra hours or take on new responsibilities, do not shy away from them they may be temporary requests and how you act now may determine your future promotions with the company.
  • Be visible and valuable to the company and you can very well be up and above any layoff cycle.

Retargets: ASTD.org

Question: How have you handled change at your workplace?