Managing Change in Your Business: A How-To Guide
Whilst change is always welcomed in business, usually implemented with the intention of improvement, its inability to predict and non-linear nature can bring many challenges; especially with regards to HR. Taking various forms, change in business can be something as small as a new line manager or as impactful as a complete acquisition; all of which can create an unsettled, confused workforce.
If your business is about to introduce a change, below we have listed some tactics for managers to make use of.
If you are heading up a project that will impact your staff members, you will need to keep your ear to the ground, spotting issues of change resistance before it deters your plans of a coherent and harmonious team. However, if playing a prominent role in the management team, you will be well aware of certain staff members attitudes towards processes, pre-empting how they will react and placing focus on them first. This is why educating your staff members is highly advised, not restructuring their working day with no prior warning.
Establish a change agenda
Though we all work in different ways, some enjoying the challenge and uncertainty that change brings, it is important that changes are rolled out in a strategic fashion. Business leaders should put a number of milestones in place when introducing new processes, remembering that business transformation takes time and if rushed could have a detrimental impact on staff morale and most importantly; retention.
For example, if your business is welcoming a new sales manager, do not simply make all sales staff accountable to them on day one, integrating them into the business in phases. This will slowly bring everyone up to speed in a settled, productive environment, understanding the end goal for the department.
Communicate with middle managers
Whilst top managers and Directors will be involved in strategic planning, middle managers, the foundational pillars of your organisation, are too often left out in this process, treated as an afterthought. When managing change in your business, communication is the real key, ensuring everyone’s viewpoints are heard and considered. By doing so, you will encourage a happy, high-performing team that is well educated on the business’ vision and core values.
This can be achieved through one-to-ones and focus groups; sessions where people can feel comfortable to share their thoughts and suggestions.
Involve the whole team
As a leader in the business you will work with a strategic head on, working on the business rather than in it. Although this can influence plans towards the ‘bigger picture’, leaders often miss things that staff members on the ground will notice. By involving the whole team in brain-storming sessions, value will no doubt be added to your business transformation plans.