Overcoming the impact of change

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Change can affect our mental health. We all have mental health. It affects how we think, feel and act and determines how we deal with life circumstances. 

The impact of change

Having good mental health helps us to have direction and a sense of purpose. However, mental health can fluctuate as circumstances change and can impact our overall wellbeing.

During the pandemic, we were all affected in different ways and feelings of uncertainty were widespread. According to the Mental Health Organisation, emotional and mental wellbeing showed signs of recovery in some areas but not for all. One group that stood out were 18-24 year olds, who still appear to be suffering from higher levels of hopelessness, anxiety and loneliness.

The impact of change on people's lives is profound, as it continually reshapes our perspectives, opportunities, and goals.

For the working population, adapting to a different way of working happened so quickly during the first lockdown.  People had to adjust rapidly to working from home, and for many people, they were in isolation. Further change happened again, with the return to offices and workplaces. 

The barriers to change

For many people, change brings about uncertainty and fear of the unknown which can cause a great deal of anxiety and stress. When people feel that they have no control over a situation, it can leave them feeling powerless. They may also have a fear of what they might be losing – maybe a new job title or working with different team members or even a job loss.

A lack of understanding and angst of the unknown can affect focus, cause negative attitudes and resistance to organisational change. All of which can be detrimental to an employee’s wellbeing.

support impact of change

Ways to cope with change at work

Everyone’s situation will be unique. Making sure you look after your mental wellbeing is paramount to feeling good and staying productive.

  • Stay connected - communication is key! Talk to your line manager about any issues or concerns you may have.  
  • Prepare ahead – Being forewarned is being forearmed! This will give you time to deal with any issues or adjustments in advance.
  • Growth mindset - Change often brings uncertainty which can lead to anxiety and resistance among employees.  Howeveer, whilst learning new skills can be challenging, it also presents opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Be kind to yourself – It may take a while to adjust to change and things may not always go quite as you hope. So be kind to yourself and allow time to understand what you’re experiencing and the impact of change on your work and home life. Your colleagues too may be going through similar problems too, so showing kindness will benefit them, and you too.
  • Set achievable goals - establish clear, actionable goals to focus your efforts during times of change.  This can provide a sense of  purpose and direction.

Workplace Wellbeing

Narrow the search for your next wellbeing initiative and discover the Wellbeing People approach to workplace wellbeing.

Strategies for employers to overcome the impact of change on their employees

The impact of change on employees can be overwhelming and it's crucial to understand and navigate these transformations to thrive in an evolving professional landscape. 

  • Communication Prepare your employees for any changes as soon as you can. Communicate openly and as honestly as possible to give your employees confidence and trust in what is to come. Be proactive in your approach by taking time to answer questions and address any concerns or worries.
  • Allow time Allowing your employees a period of adjustment to acclimatise and prioritise workloads is vital to help keep stress levels low and productivity high. There may be operational or system changes, workload/staff changes/training etc – all of which will take time to adjust to.
  • Remind employees they are importantOne of the best ways to do this is to listen to what your team has to say (individually). Encourage honest conversations and chat about expectations. Employee feedback surveys are a great way to foster a sense of inclusion, influence, and importance.
  • Wellbeing strategy Wellbeing programmes play a critical role in strengthening corporate culture and ensuring your employees are productive. Taking care of the mental and physical wellbeing of employees will help them to feel valued and supported. It is particularly important during times of shift and change.
  • Wellbeing ambassadors Assigning a wellbeing ambassador or champion will assist with the changes and keep employees engaged. Wellbeing Ambassadors can empower employees to enrol in wellbeing programmes. They are also invaluable in helping the company to overcome any resistance in employee participation. 
  • Share success  Highlighting successes of previous organisational changes will help to keep a positive mindset amongst employees. Even sharing small successes – perhaps how well the company coped with the initial adjustments of lockdown and working from home.
  • Provide training Ensure that your employees are trained in new roles or provide refresher courses for those that have been out of work for over 12 months. Positive steps such as these help towards a healthy and productive workforce.
Wellbeing People are enthusiastic about the forthcoming changes as it brings hope and positivity for workplaces to move forward

Wellbeing People believe that putting wellbeing at the forefront of company agendas has never been so important. To read more about what wellbeing is and why it is so important for businesses to look after the wellbeing of their employees click here

The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance - Nathaniel Branden


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