Shifting the Mindset of Change in the Workplace.

Author:Lauwers, Katie

With detailed research from the AEDC 2020 Economic forecast as well as the hum and buzz around Alaska's economy, it is no surprise that we are amidst change on the horizon. We have changes in workforce demographics, demand of work, residential populations, and state budgeting. Unfortunately, as humans we seem to resist change. Change is just difficult to come to terms with. Typically, individuals and organizations alike try to prepare for and address exactly what is changing and how it is changing, and we work to make sure there are systems and processes in place that minimize the disruption.

Why then do more than 70 percent of corporate change initiatives fail (Gallup 2013)? Because we feel a sense of loss of control, fear, and risk. What if we empowered ourselves and our teams 'to create and maintain appropriate change? This ref raming allows for more proactivity, resilience, and an increase in internal locus of control (that innate feeling of: I have some control over the outcome). Behavioral Economic study lends us insight into how our mindset affects our decision-making. Gallup suggests that 70 percent of decision-making is based on emotion and that just around 30 percent is based on rational thought (Gallup 2019). Therefore, we know that under risk and uncertainty individuals rely on emotional and heuristic thoughts (shortcuts that your brain uses to make decisions).

Heuristics and behavioral economic study shows us that being reactive to change just doesn't always work. In order to support and facilitate informed decision making, individuals and teams need to address what fosters resilience. Often a complicated and far-fetched word, it is difficult to articulate how exactly to build resilience. Gallup suggests that a simple shift in mindset is a good start:

  1. Involve, Trust, and Empower

    Autonomy and confidence are vital to resilience: knowing that life isn't happening to you is important.

  2. Prioritize Development and Working in Your Strengths

    Particularly in the professional setting, developing managers is like training the trainer. Gallup has found that a manager accounts for 70 percent of an individual's engagement. Under immense change, it is important that those with the highest influence are trained, aware, and committed to engaging their people.

  3. Increase Conversation and Feedback

    It is important to provide yourself and your teams with multiple channels to...

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