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How to cope with change in the workplace

Posted by
31 Aug 2016
The office environment changes on an almost daily basis. For example, in our Leeds office, the whole team can be rushed off their feet on a Monday with urgent queries that have come in over the weekend. In contrast, the office has a lively and friendly atmosphere on a Thursday. These constant changes can become part of the norm, but how do you cope when a more drastic change happens in the office as a team. This can range from a member of the team taking a long term holiday to somebody leaving or somebody joining.

The first one is easy; a member of your team taking a holiday. In the Leeds office this means that a detailed handover must be written and sent to the office outlining each job that needs to be completed over the period of time the consultant is away. Between ourselves we divide up the tasks so that we all share an equal amount of the extra work in accordance to our abilities. This allows the lucky member of staff who is jetsetting away to relax, turn their emails off and not return to a mountain of work. However, this change is temporary, everybody knows it is only for a few weeks and so covering their work is easy.

Other changes are more permanent, such as when a member of staff leaves. This change can dramatically impact the working environment. However, the following tips will help your team work through a potentially difficult time:

  1. Be flexible – chances are that everybody will have to take on extra responsibility it may be difficult at first to pick up things you aren’t used to but remember that the team is in the same boat and that everybody’s help is appreciated.
  2. Be open – communication is key during this time as working relationships change to accommodate the norm. Your managers will tell you the information you need to know when it comes to news.
  3. Remain a positive person – going into the unknown is scary for many reasons and everybody in your team being as normal as possible is a big help to all.
  4. Look at the bigger picture – movement around the team could create a new opportunity for you and others.
  5. Remember it will be fine
On the positive side another change that can be equally disruptive is a new member of staff. A new person can cause a degree of panic as they may not know what to expect. In most cases the points above still apply:

  1. Be flexible – help the new member of your team with tasks that they might not be familiar with.
  2. Be open – communication is key as working relationships change. Let the new member in to see what a great team they have just joined.
  3. Be patient – they will not know the systems as well as you do or the unwritten rules of the office help them as much as you can.
  4. Be as welcoming as possible – suggest a team lunch out to celebrate their first week this allows the team to get to know the newcomer in a relaxed environment
  5. Keep the 'in-jokes' to a minimum – as a team who work with each other five days  a week ‘in-jokes’ will be a source of entertainment however, the newcomer will not know any of these and too many can make them feel left out start making some new stories with them to look back on.

Change can be a very stressful time for any workplace, not many people can adapt to it easily. Remember that your team is on your side and only as a team you will be able to go forwards, a new situation can become a new opportunity for you and your team to grow.

If you are seeing a shift in your team and need assistance in your recruitment strategy, please contact us for further assistance. Contact Us

Tagged In: Careers, Recruitment
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