Let's face it, some people are going to love and embrace changes in the workplace; others are going to go running for the hills when you even mention change, as they may have reservations how it will affect current operations. But when your workplace needs a change, it's usually for very good reason -- the business needs it in order to survive and thrive. If you're facing big changes in your workplace and you need help getting management and staff on board, giving some helpful reminders about the benefits of the change may help your cause.
Business owners often make changes in processes, equipment or even staff for one reason -- the change will make the business more productive. Before the widespread use of computers or calculators, an accountant had to tally numbers long-hand; before the telephone, a courier had to deliver messages by hand. When a task takes less time to complete, it means less labor, which translates to lower labor costs for the business as a whole.
Businesses have to stay current with the trends of the industry in order to satisfy customers who are looking for the newest and best information, products and services. If you're selling a rotary phone when the competitors have smart phones, you're not going to be able to compete. Changes in the workplace help businesses maintain their reputations as the most innovative or the most responsive to customers' needs. If an employee is reluctant to change, remind him that not changing the way he does his work may mean he eventually won't have a job at all.
Some changes in the workplace exist to benefit workers' health. For example, some healthcare businesses have stopped hiring smokers -- or have required current smokers to quit -- in an effort to decrease healthcare costs. Other businesses have stopped selling sugary snacks and sodas in vending machines to promote general health and prevent the mid-afternoon sugar crash among employees. These changes can be annoying for workers who are used to those services or concessions, but in the end, the health of the workforce is increased.
Other changes in the workplace may not have to do with profit or reputation, but are implemented in order to make the workplace a more attractive and inclusive place to work overall. Take the manager who stops allowing workers to decorate their cubicles for the holidays. Not only does this cut down on distractions, but it also makes things less exclusive to people who don't celebrate those religious holidays. Another manager may appear to be mean when she cancels the work volleyball tournament, until you realize that the event was not inclusive to the employee in a wheelchair.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.