Meaningful Ways Your Business Can Better Manage Change
Change is as scary as it is exciting for a business. You and your employees/colleagues work hard to open new possibilities. Those possibilities mean change whether it be through growing the staff, adding new products or services, moving to a larger building, etc.
For employees, change often means imbalance and stress. New challenges allow employees to be more engaged and learn new skills, but we must acknowledge the anxiety that comes with all change. During a time of change, it’s not uncommon for employees to ask things like:
- Is my role necessary under this new direction?
- Am I still on a path of growth within the company or is my path now gone?
- Will I be able to meet new expectations?
- How does this impact my work-life balance?
These and other self-reflections are important elements of change within a company that you should be cognizant of. What can you do to make this transition easier and more welcoming to your colleagues?
Understand Your Business Is Only As Strong as Its People
Businesses are the people. Any change management strategy needs to put the people first; any transition will fall short if the people aren’t able to understand or execute the plan. Your future lies in effective communication and execution of the path you’re setting the company on.
So, what does this mean for you? The effective communication element falls on leadership. You need to make clear what the changes are and leave as few unanswered questions as possible. To do this, it’s important to consider giving everyone a platform to ask any and all questions they have. You don’t want to leave it to the water cooler conversations because this creates more anxiety and confusion.
Set a Reasonable Timeline
One of the surest ways for a plan to fail is to attempt to communicate, implement, and profit from it over too short a time. The size of your business is an important element of this (more on that below). If you have a lot of employees to get on board then you should have a grace period between the announcement and implementation of change.
You don’t want to announce something brand new that changes employee expectations and expect them to miraculously pull it off successfully immediately. Instead, set a date that you want your systems and processes to be updated and roll it out over time.
As noted above, the size of your company matters. There is no model that says “change is easier/harder at a smaller/bigger company,” however, the size of your company should inform the steps you take to effect change.
Is your small business a tight-knit group that normally relies on each other for insight and direction? Everyone should probably be involved in formulating a plan for change instead of breaking the norm and doing it all behind closed doors. Do you operate a large company or firm that has numerous layers of employees? It’s logical to consider what each layer of the company needs to be successful in this change and implement individualized strategies for each layer.
Be Confident, Excited, and Know What Happens if You Fail
Your employees are more likely to buy in if the leaders that established the plan are confident in the direction of the company. You can’t expect people to feel driven and passionate about something that leadership isn’t comfortable with.
However, this confidence can’t neglect the possibility of this change not going as you expect. There’s no guarantee that a cultural or systematic change within a business will find success. Contingency plans and having a proper reporting structure in place are two elements that protect you should things go wrong.
At The Million Dollar Solution®, we take pride in assisting firms through important periods of transition. Our team pushes our members to take on new challenges with confidence and preparation. Learn more about our membership options and get started on the journey to finding your Million Dollar Solution today.