How to Improve Adaptability in the Workplace

In the 21st century, we have learned that the world around us is changing at such a rapid pace that we need to evolve to keep up. There have been technological advances that people could never have imagined only twenty years ago, and our day-to-day lives have changed beyond what we could have expected, even in early 2019. Change can be difficult; it can make us feel unsteady or confused, but change is necessary, and we cannot stop it from happening however much we may feel we want to freeze time occasionally. However, understanding how to improve adaptability in the workplace is to prove resilience as a leader.

Resilient business leaders understand the reality of disruption in the world and in their organizations and are prepared for the challenges that disruption can bring. 

Great leaders embrace the opportunity that change brings.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Change always creates discomfort and even fear in organizations that are unprepared. If your company understands the value of change and is prepared to pivot quickly to face a new challenge, then you are already ahead of the game. 

The ability to improve adaptability in the workplace is one of the most valuable assets an organization can have. Having a culture and a mindset that embraces change makes it easier to evolve and turn challenges into positive steps forwards. 

Even before a leader is facing disruption in their industry, they should have a plan in place for how to improve adaptability in the workplace. They need to train their team to see opportunities in difficulty and face change head-on rather than hide from it. The challenge for an organization is in figuring out how to keep going and how they can do things even better than they did before.

The individuals on a team are usually enormously talented, and they have a lot to offer because they have a lot of experience in their expert area. Whatever your industry, your people can bring elements that you may not have had before — we have to start looking at the positives of all that and figure out how to bring everybody together as a leader and disseminate your company culture. 

When I’m faced with frustration, I try and reverse engineer a solution to my central pain point. One thing that many organizations are really struggling with at the moment is leveraging the talents of the individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic when you can’t meet them face to face. Integrating new people into your company when you’re not in the office is an unanticipated side effect of working from home and definitely something which many companies have struggled to surmount.

If you can’t get together as a team, it is so much more complicated to bond, develop a sense of trust, and understand each other. It is critical to appreciate and value that everybody is not going to be like you within a group. Of course, that’s not a negative thing; we all have different facets to our character, but we miss out on a lot when we have the challenge of not being able to get to know the individuals in our business. When we are together as a group, we chat casually, and it’s during those times that you find out about their husband, wife, kids, family, or things that they’ve overcome. You only really find out all of those things by spending time with somebody talking to them, getting to know them, and caring about them. 

Physical separation is undoubtedly a business challenge that many of us are facing right now, but there are many more, and there will continue to be as the world continues to evolve and move on. 

Adapt and Overcome 

As a business leader, the responsibility lies with you to prepare your team to roll with the punches. Some individuals will find adapting to change much more manageable than others depending on their general personality, but you can help everyone, whatever their natural inclination, to pivot their mindset, and see a challenge as an opportunity. 

By supporting all the members of your team to understand how to improve adaptability in the workplace, you are helping them to prepare for success in the future. For more insight into how to improve adaptability in the workplace and more information into how that can benefit you as a skilled business leader, check out the rest of the blog series or tune in to The Athletics of Business podcast, where I discuss all aspects of leadership with a variety of inspiring leaders from the world of sports and business.


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