First published Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The world of work and indeed the workplace is constantly changing. Whether it is technological change, trends in workplace design, employee benefits and perks or the nature of the contract, little remains untouched by change.
Change often brings challenges with it. Some staff will willing embrace change, bringing forward ideas and suggestions, particularly if the culture of the organisation encourages this. Others will be very much in the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ frame of mind, and can at times be difficult to convince to change.
Sometimes change is necessary due to circumstance. Maybe there has been a revision of the funding for a particular project or workstream, and downsizing the team is required, or an alteration in working practices is called for. On the reverse of that, it may be that expansion is the name of the game and the team is growing or new premises are being taken over. Either way, it’s a change for the team, and needs to be handled carefully.
On other occasions it can sometimes appear that change is being made purely for the sake of change. This isn’t always a great idea, but again on the other side, it can bring a breath of fresh air to an organisation and allow teams to review how they operate and identify if there are any opportunities to improve efficiency, team work, morale and more.
An article on the BBC website in their Magazine section caught our attention, as it was discussing whether or not workers should stand, rather than sit, at their desks. You can read it here. It’s a thought provoking piece. When you consider that ‘hot desking’ is also on the increase, with many larger towns and cities now having spaces that can be rented by the hour or the day, as workers are increasingly mobile thanks to technological advances, it’s another change to consider in how business operates in general.
When it comes to keeping your team on their toes, some simple changes may be all it takes. If morale is an issue, ask why. Are they so busy they are not getting a chance to have social interactions? Maybe an opportunity for a collective tea break, or a ‘bring a cake to work’ day could help boost that. Are there issues with team communications? Perhaps a team day out of the office doing something completely different would help. Who knows, maybe having a ‘dress down/dress up or even a fancy dress’ day once a month (for charity?) would be something to keep things fresh.
The key thing to consider is that any kind of change will be easier to accept if the team has a chance to be involved in some of the decision making process. Give each idea put forward recognition, even the apparently crazy ones (they’re sometimes the best!) Whatever the reason for making changes, it can be worth getting input from an outsider, someone who will view things objectively and from a fresh perspective. Whether that is a trusted associate from another organisation, or someone experienced in handling the impact of changes to staff teams, time invested in planning and managing change can save considerable sums and headaches later on.
Remember, ringing the changes can often identify or create new opportunities too!