“How to Change Your Workplace”

Originally posted in our September 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

To close out this month’s Top of Mind Newsletter, let’s apply some of what we’ve learned about our individual minds to collectives. In any established organization, workers will have seen any number of “change initiatives,” from reducing waste in a corporate setting, improving customer feedback, or developing new programs to improve employee morale. And we often hear about how these initiatives do not work or how they could have been done better.

In a recent episode of organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s podcast WorkLife, we hear about ways in which you can enact real change in the workplace. Spoilers, many of his guest’s suggestions align with changing how we think for ourselves. 

Guest Dan Heath, the author of Switch, offers three simple steps to create lasting change. Step one is to help people understand why a change is needed. As he states it, “paint a vivid picture.” This is critical, as it helps everyone embrace the goal but also helps them understand that it’s worth working on (does this remind you of how to beat procrastination yet?).

Step two focuses on appealing to people’s existing values rather than trying to change them. This is not only valuable in creating more team unity but also helps people feel more psychologically safe. 

And lastly, step three is all about shrinking the change. Give people the opportunity for small wins. This creates buy-in and offers teams and organizations a better chance to embrace change effectively. Just like taking a daunting task and breaking it down into simpler goals, treating change in this way can have a major impact on an organization.

How are you changing things?