HOW DO YOU MANAGE CHANGE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Whether your business is large or small, established or just starting out, change is something you’ll encounter time and again (whether you like it or not – and lots of people don’t.)
While some individuals enjoy and embrace change, others find it unsettling.
Unfortunately, in recent years the concept of change in relation to business has taken on negative connotations, largely due to the economic downturn. When balancing the books proves tricky, change can mean job losses, which inevitably lead to feelings of insecurity and vulnerability among your remaining staff members.
Subsequently, talking in terms of change today might put the wind up your workforce – even if the changes you have planned are positive ones.
So let’s take a look at what constitutes change in business, and how you can manage change effectively, without unsettling your team or overburdening yourself.
- The big move
Businesses grow, shrink and change shape all the time. If your business premises are too large, too small or unfit for purpose, you’ll need to consider relocating to a more suitable space.
When it comes to making a move, lots of business owners neglect to take the opinions of their employees into account. Often, business owners assume that their employees will welcome a move, settling into their new office environment immediately.
In fact, your staff members may be reluctant to leave their existing workplace; they may have grown attached to their office, their desk, the view, even the route they travel each day.
If you’re planning a big move, it’s essential to communicate with your team. Remember, it’s your responsibility to convince them that moving to a new, more suitable premises will improve – not damage – their working lives. Sit down with your team and explain the reasoning behind your decision. Once you’ve got your staff members on board, you’ll be amazed at how smoothly a big move can go!
- New staff members
You may have reached a point where you need to take on new members of staff. Remember, new personalities and new ways of doing things can prove disruptive, destabilising an already gelled and performing team.
Taking on new team members may mean that you head back to the “forming and storming” stages of team development.
A little disruption, of course, is quite natural. Merely by communicating closely with your team, you can avoid major disturbances.
- Restructure and redundancy
Naturally, not all change is good. Most businesses, at some point or another, find they need to reduce the headcount or restructure in order to respond to new challenges. This can create uncertainty, and worry for the survivors, so don’t forget to reassure and reinvigorate your staff members.
Top tips to facilitating change
- Have a plan – and communicate that plan!
It is extremely important to have a plan of action in place before you make major changes.
Ensure that you communicate this plan to your troops. (People naturally become jittery when they sense something is going on but don’t know what it is.)
- Update, update, update
As you go through the process of change, make sure you keep the team updated with what’s going on.
- Be a true leader
You need to be the figure head for any change, and really drive it forward. Get the troops on board and create a sense of excitement and togetherness.
Get in touch
We love working with a variety of businesses and business owners – whether new on your business journey or well established. We are specialist in dealing with tricky HR issues as well as the essentials, like developing your policies and procedures.
Give us a call on: 01243 717693 or message us directly