As we are a week into the season of Lent which, if you’re not familiar with, is when some religions fast, pray and repent for the 40 days before Easter. Typically, one will either give something up that is difficult for them, such as eating candy or smoking, while others will do more, such as donate to charities, volunteer or be nicer to others.
This had me thinking that the premise behind this observance can relate to one’s career (or personal life) and how you can follow your own “lenten” journey. Now would be a good time to stop doing something that is detrimental to your career, such as coming in late or procrastinating on tasks. These types of activities not only hold you back from being a good performer and getting the work done, but they also will get you noticed – and not in a good way. Think of how much better you would feel if you stopped behaviors that have frustrated you (you’ve noticed) and created rituals in order to perform at your best.
On the other hand, why not look to make a commitment to do more, such as to be fully present in your work, to complement others you work with or get to know them better, or even smiling more. Being and doing more sets a different tone (than giving up) but it ultimately leads to bringing out more of your skills, talents and more of who you are, while thinking of others and your relationship to them. In the workplace, these types of actions can create more positive interactions that will ultimately lead to higher performance and more job satisfaction. You can whistle while you work versus feeling miserable.
I challenge you to choose one: give up or do more – for the next 32 days and see your results. Either way, you can’t lose.
I was talking to a coaching client the other day who discussed changes going on in their organization and how they were seeing ‘odd’ behaviors from employees, which included being less engaged in their work and more demanding in their wants and needs. Upon further exploration with this client, it became apparent that they were (the organization) was creating a fear-based culture.
When change occurs, it is a natural response to resist it to some level; for some, it can be an immediate rejection while for others they may need some time to mull over changes and their implications – some will embrace them while others will reject in the end.
When an organization is undergoing any type of change from the norm, or the ‘what has always worked’ it can be hard to accept the new, particularly if that is unknown. This was the elephant in the room that no one in the organization was discussing: communicating any changes with employees regarding what they were, what would change, what would now be implemented, and how the organization would help employees through the change.
When employees are unaware and uninformed it can create anxiety within employees as well as misperceptions and assumptions that can spin out-of-control if not addressed. “Will I lose my job?” “What if I don’t like the new boss (policies, systems, etc.) they bring in?” I like my routine – how will it change?” These are just a few of many questions employees may be wondering; if no answer comes from above they will find their own – which is not good overall.
To alleviate any misunderstandings and help employees adapt and adopt to any changes, the easiest and most effective way it to talk to them. When workers feel that they are cared about and communicated with they will perform to a higher level. Letting them know why the changes are occurring is a big step to alleviating any resistance; other steps to take would include: what will the new change be (within a range if unable to divulge), what their roles will/won’t include, when the changes will begin to start as well as allowing them time to voice their opinions/concerns.
Helping employees to navigate changes will help the organization navigate them as well.
If you’d like help with change management strategies, call today for a free Discovery Session to learn more: http://www.cyscoaching.com. where you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter.