Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finding Opportunities in Change

There were two significant changes in my workplace this week. They weren't new servers or databases. They were changes in staff.

One person has left the Service Desk to take a new and exciting position closer to home (it will save him about 3 hours a day). Another will be leaving my Desktop Support group to head across the building to take up systems administration duties.

Neither of these changes is easy. Work needs to be absorbed or modified. There will be the inevitable challenges to get up to speed on things these people know and things they did. Oh, sure, we have documentation. The nameplate outside my office has two lines. One has my name, and the other says, "If it's not documented, it's a rumor." But nothing beats experience in some situations. We'll miss that.

Although the transitions will be challenging, there are opportunities here.
  • Rethink workflow through and around these positions
  • Check processes for clarity and completeness
  • Develop materials to help with training a replacement
  • Refresh all administrative passwords
  • Be open to a fresh set of eyes
We'll miss our departing colleagues. But we can gain some new insights to what we do.

What's your biggest challenge when there's turnover in your workplace? How can you find the opportunities in the change? Leave a comment and let me know.

Give it some thought.


  1. My organization is very small, so job transitions do not happen often, and when they do happen, they are cataclysmic.

    I notice occasionally that vendors change personnel assigned to deal with my business. I might have had a warm, friendly talking relationship; suddenly my talking relationship with the vendor is cool and distant. One company gave their phone reps alias names. I was assigned to "Miss Diamond." I called Miss Diamond several times a month, and I came to recognize her voice. What a surprise when Miss Diamond, with a different voice, failed to offer the same phone congeniality as she had several weeks before.

    Steve Broe

  2. Thanks for your comment, Steve.

    When you have a small organization built on personal relationships, "cataclysmic" is the only word.

    As for vendors using aliases, I believe that's just plain wrong-headed, and shows a complete lack of interest in building relationships. It devalues the customer ("They won't notice") and devalues the representative ("One is just like another, and this one will be gone in two months anyway"). Unfortunate for you in the short run and for the vendor in the long run.