In business, nothing remains constant. Fluctuating markets, unpredictable turnover, and structural reorganizations can take their toll on even the most successful companies. Managerial instabilities, however, can be one of the most challenging situations for employees to grapple with. When the person in charge is changing as often as your calendar, common workplace struggles are amplified. Building a meaningful relationship with the boss becomes increasingly taxing, climbing the ladder at a company can prove difficult, and adjusting to different management styles can be frustrating.
So how exactly can you, a loyal employee, adapt when you’re facing constant changes in management?
Schedule a Sit Down
During your initial interview with your company, you were given an opportunity to discuss your goals, and prove your value to your old boss. Despite the fact that the interview process can at times feel impersonal and nerve wracking, outstanding candidates view it as a chance to truly shine before their potential employer. If this sounds like you, your manager took a liking to you from the get-go, which provided the foundation to establish a camaraderie and healthy professional relationship.
The new boss, however, has never seen this side of you. You weren’t allotted a meeting to discuss your drive and aspirations for the company—so you have to go out of your way and request one. Schedule a sit down discussion with your new manager and go into it with the mentality that you’re going to prove your value to him or her. By doing this, you’ve informed them of not only your professional achievements and goals, but also the fact that you’re a motivated self-starter with a killer work ethic.
Get in the Loop
If there is turnover at the management level of your company, and you’re certain that your boss didn’t leave on their own to pursue other professional aspirations, it’s imperative that you figure out what propelled your company to oust them. Change in management can often indicate that a company is about to pivot, or is gearing up to move in a new direction. Talk to those around the office who may have intel on the changeover. By getting in the loop, you give yourself the opportunity to decide whether or not your vision aligns with your company’s new path.
Strengthen and Preserve the Relationship
Although it can feel impractical and tiresome to continuously be putting in the same amount of effort to build relationships with your seemingly endless stream of new bosses, for you to make your way up within the company, it needs to be done. Just because you feel the new boss is close to hitting the chopping block, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Furthermore, befriending those you work with, including your boss, will allow you to find greater happiness around the office. Treat all new bosses equally, because you never know which one is going to stick.
If you’ve done everything you can to cultivate a healthy professional relationship, but your new manager fails to meet company expectations and is fired, don’t chalk up your hard work to a loss. Any positive professional relationship not only expands your network, but also makes way for future job opportunities and references. Ensure that you preserve any relationships with your old bosses, because you never know what opportunity exists down the road that they can help guide you towards.
One of the greatest qualities an employee can have is the ability to be adaptable. In a workplace where management is constantly evolving, the onus is on you to make the necessary adjustments to continue doing excellent work under different bosses. New leadership means new expectations, and as a dedicated employee, it’s up to you to not only reach, but also exceed them. If you’re unsure about your new boss’s expectations or communication style, it doesn't hurt to ask them directly. Asking questions and being direct shows that you have a thirst for knowledge, and a passion for performing your job at a high level.
While frequent personnel changes can be challenging, you can decide how you rise to each of the occasions. Although it’s normal and tempting to feel frustration over constant changes in management, you have the choice to see the shifts as opportunities to take initiative, effectively manage relationships, realign yourself with new priorities, and showcase your irreplaceable value at your company.
Now from the other side of the coin from a managerial standpoint, by implementing an onboarding process, your company can nip any turnover problems right in the bud, cut turnover costs that are associated, and increase overall engagement. Stop bleeding talent back onto the market within the first month.