Change is happening in most workplaces around the world every day. If it’s not major changes, it’s minor ones. Any upheaval in the office can cause a range of emotions among staff, ranging from joy to fear. Often, it’s just frustration because they don’t know why change is occurring. However, if you’re doing change right and bringing people along for the ride, it can be a catalyst for major business improvement.
Understand that change is constant
Firstly, it’s important to recognise that change is constant. Whether it’s a minor business improvement, a change in management or even just changing the carpet. A lot of people are afraid of change. They’re stuck in their old ways and sometimes can’t see the need for things to change. Does that sound like anybody you’ve worked with?
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to communicate extremely well when it comes to change. Don’t be secretive, because people are a lot more comfortable with change when they know what’s going on. Dynamic businesses go through change all the time, which means your leaders also need to be great at bringing people on the change journey.
A chance for business improvement and new goal-setting
We often speak about change in terms of a decision made by leaders to improve something. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes change can be forced, whether it be a popular leader leaving the business or a downturn in business. These forced changes are much harder to manage, because there’s often no strategic vision to sell. But there’s that old saying about what to do when life gives you lemons.
Any change, positive or forced, is an opportunity for business improvement. It’s a chance to reassess where you’re at, and where you need to go. With the realisation that you’re not where you need to be, comes a great opportunity to re-set your goals. So, when change is coming, it’s time to start planning a way forward. Look for the silver lining and give your staff an honest, yet positive message about what comes next.
Learn from previous changes
One of the reasons employees get so worried about change is because they’ve seen it done poorly in the past. That’s where leaders need to take a step back, revisit previous changes and make an honest assessment of how it went. There’s no shame in admitting that mistakes were made, but it’s a bit shameful to make the same mistakes over and over.
Take your teams toward business improvement
There’s no doubt that change is a catalyst for business improvement, but you need everybody on board. Sure, there will always be those people who won’t accept change at all, and perhaps you’ll never change them. But for the most part, people are usually willing to embrace change if leaders are honest and transparent about the process. So, find the positives in any change, use it to make your business better, and bring your staff along for the ride.