Five Tips to Deal with Change in the Workplace

August 11, 2022

Change is something that one can always count on.

In business, one can not always anticipate every possible change. Companies can expect that change is constant though. They can plan for how to react to change when change occurs.

Change can also be good; in fact, a change could lead to better opportunities.

Many people, including workers and customers, do not like change. Too much change can make some people feel anxious or stressed. Change in the workplace can be a contributor to stress for workers.

Small business has experienced significant change over the past two years.

Workers displaced from the pandemic either temporarily or permanently pursued other options.

Some decided that they wanted more time with their family. Others may have chosen to switch careers and found new opportunities.

Employees permanently leaving jobs created a lot of changes for businesses and employees. The pandemic caused employee shortages.

Employee shortages have impacted the ability to obtain supplies. Many companies are operating in a mode of constant change. They react to unforeseen situations, sometimes unsure which way to turn or what to tell customers and employees.

Customer service has been affected. Much of this is due to the inability to get supplies quickly; therefore, Small businesses must adjust timelines and schedules.

The employee shortage is impacting the ability to get supplies. It is also affecting the ability to produce work timely. There may be more turnover than usual. Expectations may need to be adjusted.

Adapting to change can often be frustrating for both employers and employees.

Business owners may not always know what to anticipate or how to prepare for changes. They can have an action plan to deal with change in the workplace.

Are you a small business trying to adapt to change? Here are five tips to help prepare to adjust to change.:

1. Acknowledge that change is occurring.

  • Acknowledge that change is evident. Validate employees’ concerns. Some situations may be beyond the control of you and your business. Employees appreciate feeling heard. Acknowledge that things may be challenging right now.
  • Recognize stressors that are creating anxiety in employees. Stressors can include uncertainties. Provide support where appropriate. Help those employees to manage those stressors resulting from the change.

2. Plan for what you can base upon the information at hand.

  • Plan for time to review concerns. Address the changes impacting business.
  • When making adjustments to workflows, set time aside for brainstorming and collaborating with employees. Small business owners and managers cannot anticipate everything. They can consider future impacts of situations. They can attempt to have a plan to respond accordingly.
  • Regular communication concerning changes should decrease some frustrations in the workplace. Businesses can also have a communication plan for disseminating information. This communication plan should include both employees and customers.

3. Review operational workflows.

  • Ensure employees are informed of changes that impact them and the customers they serve.
  • Customer inquiries can be handled best when employees are informed of changes to address potential concerns. Review plans for changes with employees, and allow them to ask questions.
  • Furthermore, effectively communicating changes with employees decreases frustrations from employees having to learn something new while also not being informed of changes that impact their workday.

4. Revise plans regularly as needed.

  • Change continues to occur. Plans and policies should be changed respectively. Reevaluate plans as changes occur.
  • Ensure that things are working as expected.
  • Small business owners are very forward-thinking. They can only plan for future changes based on the information they have in front of them.
  • Supply availability and employee turnover could change almost daily depending on the business.
  • Review and adjust pricing more often. Perhaps permanent signage or menus may need to be printed without pricing included. With costs fluctuating, leaving information blank for a short time may be a viable solution.
  • It is hard to anticipate gaps when planning for changes. Revisions are necessary to ensure no stone is left unturned.

5. Implement policies and procedures as needed.

  • Implement new policies and procedures based on the necessary changes.
  • Tweak existing policies as needed.
  • Communicate your plans with your team and, if appropriate, your customers.
  • Leaders should expect to hear employee and customer concerns and be prepared to validate any problems.
  • Change can impact morale. Recognizing the impact of change and validating concerns, even when employers cannot improve a situation, can make an employee or customer feel vindicated.

Small business owners are more vital after the changes they have had to roll with over the last two years.

Business owners will continue to be out-of-the-box thinkers. They will create new solutions for their businesses to strive for years. Not all change is bad. It is also not wrong not to have all the answers. Small business owners are amazing and will develop solutions to continue conducting business.

PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. PaySmart is dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please get in touch with us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!