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raffa resources
raffa resources
​Understanding and Adapting to Change in the New Year

​By Nikki Lemons, Senior Generalist, Managed HR Services

Last year, Raffa’s DC office underwent major renovations. While the end result is the beautiful workspace we currently utilize, the challenges faced leading up to project completion had a tremendous effect on everyone. The noises and smells were bothersome, but did not disrupt business. The vision of a new, fresh workspace was clear, the process of getting to the new, fresh workspace was clear and involved a systematic approach to communicating the renovation strategy, mapping out contingency plans and allowing room for flexibility. However, adjusting to the change involved much more detail. The biggest challenge was the change associated with the renovation: things were different and required each employee making an adjustment to their everyday routine. Adjusting to change is a process that involves understanding the strategy, asking for clarity on the uncertain and accepting that change will inevitably happen. If you are able to successfully understand organizational change, you will be able to successfully adapt to the change. The most successful change initiatives can be accomplished without interrupting the flow of business.

Much like the renovation blueprints, organizations create strategic plans to map out next steps. In analyzing the strategic plan, there will be instances when change must occur. Most of us spend nine to ten hours a day, five days a week in the workplace. We develop a routine in our job responsibilities, our exchanges with coworkers and our daily commutes. Each of these instances has been impacted by some form of change, but adapting to change in the workplace causes the most angst. It’s not that we do not accept organizational change; we just adapt to organizational change from a more psychological approach. Our emotions range from anticipation and uncertainty to defensiveness and disengagement. In the midst of organizational change, it is critical that organizations ensure that the change is first understood and then effectively communicated to the workforce. The essence of change involves understanding people and being able to support them throughout the change. Consult with a member of your Human Resources department as they are typically the change agents assisting the leadership team with communicating the business rationale, facilitating change initiatives and supporting the workforce during change implementation. In addition to reaching out to Human Resources, here are some suggestions for employees for embracing organizational change: 

  • Get involved. Volunteer your time and skills to the change initiative as a means of better understanding the rationale.
  • Increase productivity. Strengthen your skill set, build on constituent relationships and network in the new year. A new year means new visions and strategies to execute.
  • Minimize stress. Encourage yourself and others around you to remain calm and stay positive. While everyone won’t understand or agree with the changes we face, it is a certainty that there are numerous Change Agents available to provide guidance and support.

Now that we have welcomed 2016, it is understood that we face an inevitable amount of change that each of us will process in numerous ways. Let us attempt to overcome the hesitation to trust the process of change. Let us attempt to go beyond the boundaries of our comfort zones. Instead of focusing on the uncertainty of change, channel that uncertainty into opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact Nikki Lemons, nlemons@raffa.com or 202.955.5408.