Adaptability in the Workplace: Benefits and Importance

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 22, 2021

Several of your personality traits will help deal with certain situations at work. The more you can adapt to changing circumstances, in particular, the better employee you'll be. In this article, we will define the importance of adaptability in the workplace, the benefits it presents and how to improve your adaptability.

Related: Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples

Why is adaptability in the workplace important?

Being adaptable in the workplace is important for a number of reasons. For one, employers value employees that are successfully able to manage changes in the workplace. In addition, the more adaptable you are, the more productive you'll be overall. This is important because being able to handle change with ease frees up the time you might have normally spent being stressed out when a new challenge presented itself. Being adaptable is also important because it showcases your ability to be resourceful, displays your leadership skills, determination, analytical skills and more. These are all valuable qualities that an employer looks for in an employee.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Benefits of workplace adaptability

There are several benefits to being adaptable in the workplace. Whether you're adaptable already or are working to be, here are some benefits of workplace adaptability:

  • You'll be a more valuable employee

  • You'll be a better leader

  • You'll be better equipped to face challenges

  • You'll be happier

  • It will be easier for you to adapt to career changes

  • You'll be more relevant

You'll be a more valuable employee

No matter the industry you're in, it's not uncommon for there to be changes in the way your job is performed and the overall workplace environment. Because of this, employers want to hire employees who have the ability to adapt to these ongoing changes. Being adaptable shows your employer that you're able to handle new changes and challenges with ease.

You'll be a better leader

The more adaptable you are, the more leadership qualities you'll possess. This can include focus, motivation and an open-minded outlook. When others see you embracing change, it'll inspire them to do the same. Being adaptable will also help you earn the respect of your co-workers. The better you're able to manage change, the better you'll be able to lead your company at large.

You'll be better equipped to face challenges

The more adaptable you are, the better you'll be able to effectively handle adversity without it getting the best of you. This means having a renewed mindset and being resilient regardless of workplace challenges.

You'll be happier

For some, changes in the workplace can cause stress. Therefore, the better you're able to anticipate change and adapt to it, the happier and more at ease you'll be. Being adaptable means having a belief in yourself and your ability to change with the times. When you embrace change, you've essentially found a reason to be happy no matter the situation.

It will be easier for you to adapt to career changes

Should you encounter changes that threaten your career, your ability to adapt will lighten your stress in regards to these new circumstances. The less stressed you are, the better equipped you'll be to make the necessary adjustments and press on.

You'll be more relevant

With the ongoing changes in technology and other fields, it's important to stay relevant in your chosen profession. The more adaptable you are, the more comfortable you'll be embracing new ways of doing things. This involves the implementation of a new workplace system, new tools or new business strategies. The more adaptable and therefore relevant you are, the better you'll be able to change with the ongoing landscape.

Related: How to Develop Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

How to become more adaptable at work

Whether you're barely beginning to embrace adaptability or looking to sharpen your skills in this area, consider the following ways to increase your adaptability in the workplace:

  1. Get out of your comfort zone

  2. Be a better listener

  3. Ask questions

  4. Be willing to make mistakes

  5. Find the positive

  6. Learn from your coworkers

  7. Find balance in your life

  8. Practice emotional intelligence

1. Get out of your comfort zone

When you step out of your comfort zone, you'll be presented with new situations you wouldn't typically come across. The more you do this, the better you'll be able to exhibit flexibility and assess how best to approach new scenarios.

2. Be a better listener

In order to be adaptable, it's important to actively listen to what's going on in the workplace. This is because the better listener you are, the better you'll be able to understand how a situation should be handled. This will allow you to resolve any conflict or change with ease, produce the best response and create a more positive environment for all involved.

3. Ask questions

Consider asking your co-workers how they perform certain tasks and handle certain situations in the workplace. One of the greatest ways to learn adaptability is to not only observe but actively seek advice from others who excel in this area. Make sure your questions are professional and well thought out.

4. Be willing to make mistakes

Though making a mistake can be disheartening, it also provides you with various opportunities such as the ability to learn a valuable lesson, share knowledge and consider a future solution. Change your mindset when it comes to your mistakes in the workplace. The better you are at embracing your mistakes, the more adaptable you'll be at managing the fallout.

5. Find the positive

Many things in life and in the workplace don't go as planned. When this happens, focus on the positive. This will allow you to change your mindset and pay attention to the positives. Consider what you're able to take away from these situations and be optimistic about the future.

6. Learn from your coworkers

One great way to learn adaptability is to observe how your co-workers embrace change. Consider the way they showcase their adaptability in certain situations and how you can apply those same concepts. It can also be beneficial to ask them for any tips they can provide you with in this area.

7. Find balance in your life

It's normal to have many obligations in life and at work. The more balanced you are, the more grounded and clear-headed you'll be to handle impending change. Make sure you're taking the time to evaluate the various parts of your life and the time you devote to them individually.

8. Practice emotional intelligence

When trying to become more adaptable, consider practicing your emotional intelligence. That is, make sure you're in control of your emotions and are aware of the emotions of those around you. This will help you shape your behavior and response to certain workplace changes and situations.

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