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How to Adjust to Changes in the Workplace

If you are working in an organization in Nigeria and you want to last long, one of the qualities you need to possess is the ability to adjust to changes in your workplace.

Working in Nigeria can be difficult. As an employee and employer, you’ll experience various changes that could make or break your career.

According to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher: “Change is the only thing that ever changes.”And that is especially true anywhere you are. Bringing it home to Nigeria, this statement rings true in every aspect of our workplaces. Every employee/employer in the country has experienced and gone through a change of some sort – sometimes very violent change.

A good example was during the pandemic when so many businesses had to shut down because of the lockdown and health restrictions. Many organizations went bankrupt, had to lose some divisions, sacked employees, etc. Everyone in business felt the effects of the virus, which is why there is a need for us all to be ready for change. But before we go into that, let’s first look at what change in the workplace is about and how you can adjust to changes in the workplace, whether you’re an employee or employer.

What is Change in the Workplace?

Change (in the workplace) is an unexpected event that causes us to change the way we work, to adjust the way we think of our careers and life aspirations. It could be a change in the company structure – like a merger – change in the company policies and practices, change in the relationship with a boss, or an overall business change.

And over the years, what we have observed in Nigeria is that disruption of the workplace has become common and will continue as the world gets more populated and global. So we have the technology to thank.

The world is getting more complex as we evolve. Because of this complexity, many businesses are under severe pressure. Here, it could be pressure from government regulations, customer demands, competitors, and the general public. All these and more cause changes in an organization.

But just as you’ll experience changes, you’ll also experience transitions. Most times, in an organization, employees and even employers mistake change and transition. Even though they are similar, they are not the same thing. What is the difference between change and transition?

Change has to do with situations and events that happen to people and companies. It mostly occurs externally and is not always something we like. Transition on the other hand is the process of adapting to a new situation. For example, a change could happen when a manager leaves for a new job opportunity and is replaced. The transition has to do with the adjustments one has to go through to adapt to the new manager. Sometimes change might mean having to choose a new career and switching organizations.

No matter how excited you will be at the time, having to leave one set of coworkers and work with new ones, and starting afresh can be challenging. The transition happens as you work with, and get to know your new team.

Effects of Change in the Workplace

Any change in the workplace can have positive and negative effects depending on its nature. Often, the change that happens in our offices are changes that potentially have negative effects. And those effects could disturb the working flow of the organization.

Importance of Adjusting to Change

The ability to adjust to changing environments and work circumstances makes you a competitive job candidate and professional. Nowadays, business owners know the labor market is saturated, and not just saturated but filled with underqualified candidates. When hiring, after creating a list/criteria a candidate must meet, they subconsciously judge interviewees with one last criterion: Your adaptability skills. Being adaptable shows you are open and willing to learn new things, take on new challenges, and make adjustments when necessary in your workplace.

How To Adjust To Changes in The Workplace

Below are some strategies you can use to adjust to any change in your organization:

Accept that change is inevitable

Many people will have lots of career changes in their lifetime and organizations are going to (re)move employees from division to division based on their current needs. You will experience change whether you like it or not. The good thing is this change is a necessary pain for your growth. And it also prevents you from getting bored in your current role.

Maintain a positive attitude

Whatever change you encounter, always come to terms that your new situation exists for a reason. You just have to be optimistic and maintain a good attitude, regardless of what new department, the group you’re working with. In that situation, think of how you can use your skills, experiences, and network. If you have a negative attitude, your new manager and co-workers will notice and won’t want to work with you.

Communicate well with your team members: After you get moved into your new role, quickly find the people who matter in your organization and connect with them. Find those previously in your role and learn from them. Get them to teach you everything you need to know. Become good at asking questions because the more you know, the better equipped you are in doing your job.

Help other team members

Chances are you’re not the only one uncomfortable with the change in your workplace. And this can be a good thing. Taking the focus away from your situation and focusing your energy on someone else’s can help you focus. Make space to interact with team members, employees, and always offer to help them out when you can. Doing this helps you deal with the stress and adapt to change more quickly next time.

Stay connected to previous co-workers

Always maintain the relationships you have with your previous colleagues. Maintaining those relationships can be helpful in the long term. Those colleagues could be your lifeline back to your previous organization or another one.    

There are so many ways we can adjust to changes in the workplace, but the most important is the attitude we choose to carry through the different changes we face. Don’t forget that we’re here all week and it’s our joy to see you move from frazzled employee to top dog at your workplace. Talk to us, will ya?

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