March 2018 by Deborah Bailey
Having been employed for over 20 years now, one thing I notice time and time again is that people aren’t fans of change. Even if it is change for the better!
They are reluctant to move out of their comfort zone.
They might remember the stress they felt the last time they had to endure change.
They might like the current set up and see no need for change.
They might fear the unknown and their capabilities of succeeding.
Whatever the reasoning, there are people (many, many people) who will shy away from change if given the chance.
Many of us may not realise that change happens constantly; quite often we don’t notice it because we aren’t significantly affected. The change could be small (maybe your train now arrives at 7.23am rather than 7.20am) or it occurs gradually (think of days getting shorter during Autumn and Winter). Other times, change is right up in your face and affects various aspects of your daily routine and it is this type of change that scares people.
So…your employer wants to implement a new practice management software system. Why? To be horrible in an attempt to cause stress and worry for his, her or their staff and colleagues? I don’t think so!
I can bet my left hand (and I am a mollydooker) that the employer(s) decided on this change because it will increase the profitability of the business, and will benefit the staff by making tasks more streamlined, automated and easier! It is this benefit for the staff that actually contributes to the profitability of the firm. Yet some staff will have a wee rant about the new software because the way they were comfortable doing things is now different and no longer comfortable. It’s fine to have a quick vent, change can be frustrating because tasks initially take longer. But one point that must be remembered:-
There is always a transitional period for change. How long this period takes is entirely up to the individual.
A few mantras that we sprout at Law Support Australia to ease the minds (with much success I have to say) of those hesitant to embrace change:-
Trust that management have implemented the change to benefit the firm and its staff, and appreciate that management have paid cash for a program which provides staff with the opportunity to work more effectively.
Don’t expect to know everything immediately. Everyone learns at different paces. Accept this transition time as temporary and soon enough your new routine will become ‘comfort zone’ compliant.
Don’t be afraid to seek assistance or ask questions. No one will think any less of you because you aren’t an expert on the program right off the bat.
Jump in the deep end! The sooner you start actually doing the new steps, the quicker you will get settled.
Change is only difficult if you allow it to be, by failing to make allowances for the temporary transition period.
As Charles Darwin once said "It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change"