Deciding How to Respond to Business Changes

How to Respond to Business Changes

Deciding how you will respond to business changes can decide how well you handle business changes. For the most part, people don’t like the idea of change to their job, but resistance to change adds stress. Many report that their fear comes not from the change itself but from the unknown. The longer you remain in the workforce, the more you will witness change. Stressful changes can take the form of learning new computer software or simple alterations to established company procedures. But there are more dramatic changes as well. In the event of downsizing, for example, change shifts additional work to the remaining employees.

A manager’s approach when confronted with employee frustration or fear can calm or crush the workers’ spirits. After the market suffered in 2008, one woman told me a story about how her company handled change. One third of the staff were dismissed in one day. Management addressed the remaining workers saying the same amount of work had to be done. They stated, “If anybody feels unappreciated, they should be thankful they still had a job.”

Business change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Promotion or a layoff, we can always turn change to our advantage. I was laid off in February of 2009, two weeks after my first child was born. When I couldn’t find work, I enrolled in college and earned a degree. Without the layoff, I would have remained content. Having earned a degree, I am now better able to provide for my family.

The following is my short list of survival tactics for Business Changes:

  1. Don’t freak out. Most surprises aren’t as bad as they seem at first.
  2. Don’t make any rash decisions. If it’s time for a change, remember to take your time and think it through.
  3. Change IS going to happen. Try being flexible when it does.