Coping with Change

Get a free consultation

Health Assured team

08 June 2022

Coping with change in the workplace can be a challenge.

But change is an essential factor for businesses. Markets, products, and processes are forever adapting–meaning you must meet new criteria in order to thrive.

Managing change in the workplace is so important. When workplace changes occur, you need to ensure they are reasonable and fair. If not, you could affect your workplace culture, morale, and dynamics.

In this guide, we’ll look at why changes in the workplace are important, and how to support your employees during these unsettling times.

Why are workplace changes important?

Change is a normal factor in everyday life—and this doesn’t escape from the workplace.

They involve many requirements which can help your business grow. This includes things like dealing with new developments, adapting to new markets, and investing in new technology.

All these new advancements can help your business stay ahead of competitors, achieve goals, and officiate processes.

CIPD found that failure rates for bad organisational changes reached as high as 70%. This statistic demonstrates a need for effective change management.

What are different types of workplace changes?

We can’t name them all, but there are so many different workplace changes you can utilise.

Some of the most common workplace changes include:

  • Creating new products.
  • Exploring new markets.
  • Changing goals and strategies.
  • Adapting policies, structures, and cultures.
  • Utilising new technologies.
  • Adapting to customer needs.

These come about through socio-economic factors. Like COVID-19 impacts, ever-advancing technologies, and increased cost of living. Businesses need to adapt now more than ever.

How to cope with change in the workplace

Managing and implementing change in the workplace isn’t an easy task.

If it’s done wrong, you might meet resistance from employees. This type of friction can spread rapidly between colleagues, leading to hostile and unhealthy work environments.

You need to ensure workplace changes don’t lead to conflicting management, poor attitudes, and regular dissatisfaction. Here are steps to take for coping with change in the workplace:

Introduce change step-by-step 

When habits and routines are ingrained into everyday life, change can trigger a range of thoughts and emotions. That’s why it’s so important to introduce change step-by-step.

By doing so, you can allow employees to acclimatise with workplace changes. Take it slow and refrain from making big shifts all at once.

Stagger changes at a steady pace. By doing so, you reduce the risk of employees feeling out of their depths in unfamiliar surroundings. 

Share decision-making with your employees

Research shows employees involved in organisational changes can help mitigate resistance.

Some of the best ways to share decision-making with your employees are through methods like:

  • Employee surveys.
  • Peer group sessions.
  • One-to-one conversations.

When employees, line managers, and decision-makers collectively input their opinions or ideas, it leads to stronger unanimous decisions. Communication is clear and everyone is engaged in the process.

Identify and address resistance 

As we mentioned earlier, resistance to change can come in many different forms. So, try to spot the signs of employees struggling after changes have been implemented. Look out for:

  • Disengagement from workloads.
  • Conflicts with colleagues and managers.
  • Decrease in motivation or engagement. 
  • Criticism of policies or procedures. 
  • Increase in absence rates. 

It’s important to address these signs as soon as possible. Be empathetic and acknowledge that employees need time to get used to new ways of working.

Make sure your employees know that they can share their feelings in a safe and confidential space. Build trust, have open relationships, and hear their voice–collectively, you can strive towards workplace coherence.

Keep open communication

Helping employees cope with change involves a consistent line of communication.

You can do this by providing regular updates on ongoing progress. Keep them in the loop and avoid springing new things onto them.

It’s so important to explain why changes are taking place, and how it’ll contribute towards organisational goals. 

Be empathetic

Every employee is different; so be empathetic with every response. Understand the after-affects they may face, from daily routines to overall life.

To you, a workplace change might mean everyone arrives to work on time. But think about those it'll directly affect; like parents, long-distant commuters, or anyone with health issues.

Aim to be empathetic and witness the transition become easier over time. 

Offer change workshops 

Before you undergo big organisational adjustments, introduce training for coping with change.

Health Assured offer bespoke workshops which are tremendous at helping employees cope with change.

The course covers recognising uncertainties, ways to raise concerns, and managing stress in the workplace. 

Health Assured can help you lead effective organisational change 

At Health Assured, our experts can help transform your workplace into one of support and openness. We can help you and your staff through challenging periods at work with our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

We can also equip your senior leaders with the tools to learn how to cope with change management

Contact our wellbeing experts today via 0800 206 2553.

Make your enquiry

Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch to answer your enquiry

Book a place on this workshop

Get a free consultation

Please complete the form and we'll be in touch to schedule your free consultation

An error occurred

We appologise but an error has occurred submitting your form. Please try again.

Mindful Employer
Stonewall Diversity Champion
Disability Confident Employer
bacp Accredited Service
International EAP Association
National Suicide Prevention Alliance
The Workplace Wellbeing Charter
Mental Health at Work
Cyber Essentials Plus
Investors in People Silver 2022
Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse
The Prince's Responsible Business Network
SEQOHS Accredited
helplines partnership