(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year along with the opening of their new global headquarters. Many congratulations to them! Enjoy the article!)
We all have our favorite quotes about change. My personal fave is from Robert C. Gallagher, former director of the Green Bay Packers, “Change is inevitable-except from a vending machine.” I think one of the reasons that I like Gallagher’s quote is because it’s funny. And when it comes to change, we often need to keep our sense of humor.
Like in today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. Change is hard. Even when it’s a change we want, it can be difficult. That’s why managing change is such an important competency. It’s also essential that we develop enough self-awareness to understand how we personally manage change, so we can help ourselves though the process.
Understand our personal triggers. I think this one is tough. Sometimes the stress of change can sneak up on us. One minute, we think that we have everything under control and the next, we’re freaking out. I’m a fan of Lewin’s change model for this reason. It only has three stages: Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze. It allows me to spend extra time thinking about the “Unfreeze” stage so I realize how many obstacles might end up in my way.
Practice self-care. I recently wrote an article over on The Workforce Institute blog about this. An increasing number of organizations are encouraging employees to practice self-care (aka “taking care of themselves”). Especially during times of change, finding a few moments to do something that’s good for our body and mind can make all the difference in the way we process change.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We don’t have to manage change alone. Finding a friend or colleague to talk with can be valuable. Sometimes we simply want someone to tell us that the way we’re feeling is normal – even if nothing can be done to fix the situation. Or having a laugh about something that happened during this time of change. Yes, change can be funny. Sharing with others can make us feel better (and help others as well).
Celebrate successes. Believe it or not, at some point, you’ll emerge from the change. Take time to celebrate! Maybe have a team celebration along with a group debrief. Or if it’s a change that you went through privately, take a moment to congratulate yourself. I mean, really do it! There’s nothing weird about patting yourself on the back. More people should do it.
Learning how to manage change is one of the most valuable competencies that individuals can develop for themselves. Organizations should consider a short session on managing change for all employees – maybe during onboarding. Because as Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.”17