How Managers Can Adapt to Change in the Workplace

What work stressors are keeping you up at night? Maybe it’s return to office (still!), workforce upskilling, or economic concerns impacting your business.

Do you know what a strong answer to these problems are? Effective change management! Sometimes, it’s less about the change, and more about the transition and how the change is communicated… or not communicated at all.

After seeing our session at the SHRM23 Annual Conference, one HR pro noted, “Why doesn’t the C-suite get this? Seems so simple to execute…if only the most important function understood how critical the process of change really is.”

Now think…your managers often are on the front lines of leading these critical changes. Here are just a few challenges our manager populations have mentioned in the past 3 months:

  • Communicating a return-to-office plan
  • Harnessing AI to increase team efficiency
  • Enduring budget cuts and layoffs
  • Overhauling technology systems
  • Relocating headquarters 
  • Taking the company public
  • Launching a new talent management approach
  • Hiring and retaining Gen Z

In our up-leveled course, Managing Through Change, we share tangible tools, coaching questions, and specific tips that are like your magic wand for leading change effectively. It’s essential for any leader in any industry – and it makes a difference for their reports.

Think about change in general. How do you react when you see this Software Update alert?  There’s typically two types of responses:

  • You select Remind Me Later” and then exclaim, “I didn’t mean for it to update automatically overnight! Where did my apps go? Can I undo this?” Chances are you are part of the Late Majority or Stragglers within the Law of Diffusion of Innovation
  • You immediately install the update and exclaim,  “Let’s go! I’ve been waiting for this!” Chances are you are part of the Innovator and Early Adopter groups

No matter what type of change occurs at work, it is important to keep people informed and be as transparent as possible.  One tool we share with managers is the 4P’s: Purpose, Picture, Plan, Part. Sharing these four key elements is proven to help your people understand the who, what, why, and how of the situation:

  • Purpose – Describe why you are making the change
  • Picture – Describe what the future will look like
  • Plan – Describe the steps you need to take to get there
  • Part – Describe the part you need the specific employee to play

In addition to this tool, our Managing Through Change workshop provides several more tangible tools and practical applications to navigating change of any kind at work including:

  • Early-Adopter Meetup
  • Hot Letter
  • The 4 P’s
  • Challenger-Listeners
  • Stay Curious Huddle
  • After Action Review

Give your managers the skills they need to share a clear vision and manage through change successfully. Learn more about this program here or give us a call to schedule this workshop for your organization.


Practical, applicable content that can immediately be implemented to create more meaningful engagement with teams during the change cycle. Fantastic!!”

Jennifer Lee discussed the change curve and how leadership can adapt in times of ambiguity. Our HR Business Partner function at BambooHR is new, we’ve extended and strengthened our Executive leadership team, we’ve launched into new product categories like Benefits Administration – the change-list goes on because BambooHR is a dynamic company in service of our mission to Set People Free to do Great Work. We are constantly identifying the best way to organize ourselves to meet our business goals, especially amongst this nuanced economic environment. The coaching questions Jennifer shared I will absolutely be utilizing as I partner with leadership in supporting and adapting throughout change. Thank you, Jennifer!

– Monica Cummings, HR Business Partner, BambooHR