FIFO Focus’ Sharon Rudderham joins Big Al as part of the REDFM series FIFO Life.
In part 8, Sharon talks about change and how it can effect FIFO workers.
Dealing with Workplace Change
Even when we’re happy, most of us crave change – we have ideas and suggestions to improve and make things better. However, when workplace change is imposed, it’s a different story and we all experience a wide variety of reactions.
At work, change such as organisational restructuring, technological or process change, and people / role / rostering changes are critical for businesses to survive and grow. Change can be continual, usually happens quickly, and often you can’t influence the bigger picture. This can be positive and exciting for some, but difficult and stressful for others.
Why do we fear change?
We are creatures of habit – we enjoy routine, predictability and being in control. Change can lead to uncertainty which is a powerful stressor taking us out of our comfort zone. It requires energy, can be disengaging, and often triggers powerful emotions including fear, stress, anxiety, depression or resistance.
When change is happening, it’s important to recognise you are going through a transition period which everyone experiences differently. You may feel excitement or anticipation when you embrace and accept change. It’s also normal to feel uncomfortable or uncertain when you resist or don’t understand the reasons for change.
Negative responses are unhelpful and can impact your physical and mental wellbeing, work and personal relationships. These may include:
- Inappropriate or unhelpful comments,
- Denying or fighting change,
- Negative attitudes or bad mouthing others,
- Persisting with old ways of doing, and
- Always thinking the worst.
It’s important to take control and minimise stress by choosing your actions and responses.
Let’s FACE it!
FOCUS on the FUTURE
Look forward and let go of the past.
• Consider what is important to you and your family – what do you need to do to achieve your goals?
• Are there opportunities for you to learn new skills or develop professionally?
• Continue to focus on what you have to deliver – don’t let the change derail your work ethic.
ACKNOWLEDGE and ACCEPT
You will feel a range of emotions which is normal. It is important to engage in self-care activities to assist you to build resilience and manage your physical and mental well-being including:
• Breathing or relaxation techniques,
• Regular exercise,
• Managing your diet including moderating alcohol consumption,
• Getting enough sleep,
• Doing things that make you happy – listen to your favourite music, read a book, watch TV shows that make you laugh, catch-up with friends.
• Building support networks – talk to your partner, family, friends and workmates. It’s equally as important to support the people you are close to.
• Don’t fight the change or play the victim.
• Identify what you can control and influence and focus on these. Don’t spend time worrying about things you can’t.
• Ask yourself “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Develop strategies to assist you to manage these if they eventuate.
• Whilst it may seem difficult, look for the silver lining.
• Seek information to help you understand the change and what it means for you – ignore and don’t spread rumours, and ask constructive questions.
• Be part of the change – don’t sit back and get left behind. Look for opportunities to influence, make suggestions and volunteer – by being involved you are taking back some control.
• Be open to learning new ways of doing things and taking on new challenges and tasks. Be a flexible and adaptable team player.
With the right attitude, outlook and actions you can find opportunities and positives to help you regain a sense of control when going through change. By accepting, adapting, and focusing on what you can influence and control, you will find it easier and less stressful to successfully manage change.