Wishing Away Change Doesn’t Work – How Managers Can Cope
Change – particularly employee turnover – is a constant issue when you’re a manager. The key to dealing with it is acknowledging its existence and being prepared when those changes occur.
Unfortunately, some managers – despite being proactive – still have difficulty handling these changes. A recent Fast Company article discussed how some managers are better able to cope with change. The author suggested that ability – knowing how to compartmentalize, assess, and act – is what separates the good manager or executive from the bad.
But what if you think you aren’t built to do that? Some experts believe the only way a company can change is if they incorporate the way their people change.
You may not be able to change, even if your employees do. If you’ve been doing things your way for a long time, and they’ve worked, suddenly veering in a new direction is rough. How can you find that middle ground where you acknowledge the shifts in your staff, but still retain the elements of your management style that made you successful for so long?
- Maintain Good Relationships with Employees – Going into your respective corners and mumbling under your breath about how “they” don’t get it isn’t productive. Open dialog with your staff will help you maintain a consistent view of office dynamics. When change looks like it may be coming, ideally you’ll have a sense it’s about to happen. You can then react appropriately.
- Directly Request Commitment – You can’t eliminate the pull of external interests, but you can appeal to a person’s loyalty. Look at any professional sport. Players sign contracts with teams as an act of commitment. Do things always work out? No. But at least the effort is there. Find ways to get your key people to buy in.
- Feelings Matter – Change is scary. When a person feels like he or she is uncertain and all alone, that leads to distrust and anger. Should your office become a therapist’s office? Of course not. Understanding how people are feeling – caring about how they feel – shows that although you’re running a business, you are still a human being. And that counts for something. You can cope with changes by being real.
Have you struggled with change in your office? How did you handle it? What could you have done differently? Need help figuring out how to cope with change? Contact me today.