Come for the products,
stay for the community

The Atlassian Community can help you and your team get more value out of Atlassian products and practices.

Atlassian Community about banner
4,300,963
Community Members
 
Community Events
165
Community Groups

Hot Topic: Are you experiencing change fatigue?

Edited
Natalie Atlassian Team Jul 20, 2021


According to recent studies, workers are 50% less able to handle workplace changes than before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Does this resonate with you like it does with me? After a year and a half of continually having to absorb and respond to new information about the pandemic, my brain is tired. I don't want any more change! 

And yet, businesses are reorganizing and reinventing themselves, especially in response to the events of the past year. How can you help your team respond to the inevitable workplace changes that abound? 

We published a blog post about this on Atlassian's blog, Work Life, recently and shared ways in which managers (and team members with a leadership mindset) can help their team respond to organizational change. Here are the key points, but let me know in the comments, what changes has your team undergone this year? And, how is your team responding? 

How to weather change as a team:

  1. Increase trust. When your team trusts that you have their best interest at heart, they will take organizational changes better.
  2. Build team cohesion. A strong team that knows each other and can openly share their needs and worries can weather any storm.
  3. Communicate often and early. Be proactive about communicating potential changes coming down the pipeline. That goes a long way in preparing people for change. 

Read the full blog post here: https://www.atlassian.com/blog/leadership/change-fatigue

giphy.gif

9 comments

Bridget Community Manager Jul 20, 2021

@Natalie love this post! 

A big change that my team went through this year was joining forces with 2 new teams! We double the size of our team, which was definitely a shock at first! 

That said, our team lead did an amazing job at building team cohesion via our shared Slack channel, time spent getting to know one another in team meetings, and even a workshop with a career/life coach for the whole squad. 

Now I feel like our new teammates are already friends, and there's been so much more collaboration as a result! 

Like # people like this
Natalie Atlassian Team Jul 20, 2021

That's awesome, Bridget! It really takes extra time to build trust, and a willingness to step away from the "day-to-day work", but sounds like it pays off in spades. 

Like # people like this

@Bridget I think that scaling teams in size is so tricky; I'm so glad yours scaled without losing intimacy.

Often, I hear that personal engagement is one of the first rituals to go once teams get to a certain size, which means messages and activities address the entire group as opposed to spotlighting individuals. Well done!

Like # people like this

I read about the Pixar story from the book, "Creativity, Inc." One of the things that stuck with me was the desire to "protect the new." That all if all the regular company practices were so ingrained in the culture, those things would naturally continue. But the new things, those are the things that are at risk of not blossoming and need to be nurtured so that they have a sporting chance of growing.

However, when there's so much change happening, I don't think "the new" is protected. Because then, other new things are competing against whatever's trying to be protected.

In a non-work-related group I'm a part of, we introduce "one new thing" every month. The group is all remote so the one new thing is usually a communication challenge on the Discord platform or an approach to discussions. And if everyone likes the new thing, it just sticks. If it doesn't, there's no harm because we don't force that new thing the following month. We started this practice because early in the pandemic there were too many new things members wanted to try, so it was a way to simplify and foster change.

Like # people like this
Natalie Atlassian Team Jul 20, 2021

That is such an interesting concept, Christine! It's almost like we can prime our brains to expect change and not be intimidated by it. 

Like # people like this
Dave Liao Community Leader Jul 20, 2021

@Christine P_ Dela Rosa - love it! That's a very Agile concept. If the entire team supports periodic retrospectives and commits to actions to improve the next cycle of work, that's a flavor of change, however small.

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this
Fadoua Community Leader Sep 26, 2021

That reminds all of us how as smart mammals we adjust easily to new circumstances.

John Funk Community Leader Jul 20, 2021

To be honest, this is why our leadership insists that we all be in the office. There are conversations and collaboration and comradery and fellowship that would never happen over Zoom. 

Personally, it's all about trust. If there's no trust or little trust, there will be little cohesiveness!

Great post!

Like # people like this
Natalie Atlassian Team Jul 20, 2021

Such a good point, John! I'm glad that your leaders are making the decision to be co-located based on a desire to increase trust among the team.

Like # people like this

Yep, @John M Funk. For those companies (including yours) that believe they are best in-person, I cannot deny that there are aspects to communication that cannot be replicated remotely. 

Curious: did your company work outside of the office during the beginning of the pandemic? Or are there any remote team members? Curious how your company handled non-colocated collaboration with such a strong perspective. If so, I bet there were good experiments.

Like John Funk likes this
John Funk Community Leader Jul 26, 2021

We were remote for about 5 weeks at the beginning, but were back in the office during the first week of May, 2020. We primarily used Microsoft Teams for our meetings, one-on-ones with leaders, and other collaboration. 

We used a separate process for company-wide staff meetings each week. There wasn't as much collaboration, but productivity stayed high during those weeks (execution). We missed out on a lot of conversations that only happen in an office environment, though, so new ideas probably faltered somewhat. 

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader Jul 20, 2021

Definitely experiencing change fatigue. 😅

I do my best to focus on the things I can change myself - including myself! - so I can better manage how I respond to changes in the workplace, much less the world. 🌍

Like # people like this

I don't know if you're thinking this, too, @Dave Liao , but focusing on what you can change is such a healthy attitude. Sometimes, I get bummed about how much needs to happen, and in turn, I get overwhelmed trying to control everything. But the fact of the matter is that we can literally only change what we can influence. If something is too big to change (i.e. the world), I can't feel responsible.

Did you just inception some therapy for me? cheeky

Like # people like this
Dave Liao Community Leader Jul 26, 2021

@Christine P_ Dela Rosa - I figure it's a healthy attitude, and really the only attitude you can have to sanely address any issue, big or small. ⚡

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

Our team has gone fully remote due to pandemic like everyone else and has responded very well to the change and shown great capacity to absorb it.

Like # people like this

This premise is sometimes easy to achieve "Build team cohesion. A strong team that knows each other and can openly share their needs and worries can weather any storm." and other teams never do. What do you think is more influential. A good leader or an autonomous team? I have my opinion but I would like to hear yours.

Like # people like this
Natalie Atlassian Team Jul 29, 2021

Ooh this is an interesting question! I'm going to give you a non-answer, which is that I'd pick a good manager, under the assumption that a.) they are a great leader and b.) a great leader knows how to empower teams to be autonomous. 

(This is just my opinion btw, not backed by any hard research) 

What do you say? 

Like # people like this

Not what you're asking for, but I would hope a good leader empowers an autonomous team and vice versa. Both can feed each other.

giphy.gif

Like Fadoua likes this
Fadoua Community Leader Sep 26, 2021

it goes both ways. I agree 100% with you @Christine P_ Dela Rosa 

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

More than fatigue, I'm actually experiencing anxiety for these changes, given I cannot "be present" on the conception of those. However, I have infinite trust in the company I work for.


It's somehow relieving getting to know I'm not alone in this.

Like # people like this

Absolutely. And what a benefit that is, to be able to trust the company you work for so that you changes don't have to take up the majority of your energy.

But even still, the anticipation of inevitable changes can take a toll as well. Hopefully your company is also trying to ease that anxiety with overcommunicating potential changes and helping you and your colleagues feel as ready as possible for changes even before they come.

Like # people like this

Totally @Christine P_ Dela Rosa, it's a great advantage to have this trust in the company; however, I think that anxiety factor it's almost difficult to get rid of. Inevitable as change itself.

And regarding the company's internal efforts on easing the impact of these changes, the CEO of the company @Guillermo _DEISER_ communicates weekly, on a live stream, every change happening across each team for the sake of maintaining the company aligned, without leaving aside the creation of specific Microsoft Teams channels dedicated to specific streams of communication.

Like # people like this

That transparent and frequent communication I'm sure goes a long way. That's awesome! 

And you're right, anxiety is hard to get rid of, if at all. So it's a matter of mitigating it as much as possible, and to your point, acknowledging that it's present instead of pretending that we can shoo it away.

Like Huwen Arnone -DEISER- likes this

You're like my work psychologist here. lol. It is refreshing to have these types of conversations in the Atlassian Community. Thank you very much for reading and chatting about it!

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this
Fadoua Community Leader Sep 26, 2021

@Huwen Arnone -DEISER- I can write a book if not books about the whole Anxiety that went up to the roof with this pandemic and the good work the ,media has been doing to keep us on our nerves 🤨

Like Huwen Arnone -DEISER- likes this
nina_schmidt Community Leader Aug 12, 2021

We changed nearly the whole staff in my team (team of 5, 2 incl. me remained; 2 new colleagues joining within some months) plus were reorganised hierachy wise - I can say that it worked really well. 

Yes - we have to cover a lot of work until the new colleagues are on board, but you can build a whole new team with a new and open mindset. 

I am team change! :-) you have to communicate a lot but it is definitely worth the struggle. 

Like # people like this
Natalie Atlassian Team Aug 12, 2021

Love that! 

Fadoua Community Leader Sep 26, 2021

I started my new job at the very early days of the pandemic. Our team lead did an amazing job and still doing it at keeping us up to date regarding any upcoming changes. Makes herself available for us late night, early morning if her schedule is busy through the day to answer our questions, and appease our worries.

Best 

Fadoua

Comment

Log in or Sign up to comment
TAGS

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you