Jun 28, 2010

Dealing with Professional Change

In our professional lives, we go through two types of changes: those that we bring to ourselves, for example, a change in workplace or a change of career, and those that are brought to ourselves, for example, a new supervisor or a layoff. Due to the ever-changing work environment in the United States, imposed change is more common now than ever. In one of her ICCM newsletter columns, titled “Rising to the challenge of Change,” Lori Bocklund (2002) stated, “Change can also be revolutionary, not evolutionary, such as going from a single media to multimedia, shifting from a service focus to revenue focus, or undergoing complete process, technology, and organizational change” (pg. 1).

Companies downsizing, outsourcing, merging, and going global, technology upgrades or switch of infrastructure: all of these, among others, make our current work environment less stable. Even so, companies that have an environment of growth, take change as a positive step towards goals. The truth is that in order to improve, things must be done differently, so different results are obtained. In a 2002 study of 327 companies, the number one issue that they will like to improve on is that of “change management” (Bocklund, 2002, p. 4).
Professional changes that are imposed by our workplace must be managed in two ways: from the source of the change and the person receiving it. Companies must have a plan of action in order to create a receptive attitude toward the change. For example, honest and open communication, training, follow up and feedback are effective ways for companies to incorporate change in their employees. Finally, recognition and awards are strong ways to reinforce the change. Bocklund (2002) stated that, “Successful change starts at the top, and you must educate and communicate down the line” (p. 3).

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