Hope for the best; plan for the worst; and you’ll end up somewhere in between.
It would be absolutely marvellous if everything ran as it is supposed to 100% of the time. In reality, though, this is never the case.
As people, we are constantly adapting and responding to events in our life. And given that businesses are just a bunch of people delivering an outcome for customers, why would we expect not to in our work life too?
Whether it’s personal or professional, the ones that are most skilled at managing change have the greatest opportunity to be successful.
The most successful people and businesses are those that go a step further, and create systems that can manage, plan for, and respond to change.
Here’s a few tips for how to do it:
Change is OK. A lot of people are risk-averse and change-resistant, as change challenges their current identity and competency. As a business leader, it’s important to make sure that you and your people are comfortable and accepting of the fact that change will happen – and that while it might hurt at the start, it’s better for everyone in the long run.
Buy-in. Before making a change, it’s important to understand how that change will affect your team. Sometimes, an improvement in one area may adversely impact other areas. Make sure that the change is a positive change overall, and that everyone understands the reason for it.
Few systems, with clear purpose. One area for confusion and frustration is when information is captured and managed in many different locations. When this happens, people don’t know where to save documents, or which document is the latest official version to use. Left unchecked, this can grind progress to a halt and/or make talented employees leave. Make sure you have as few systems as possible, each with a clearly defined purpose.
Simple messaging. The best changes are those that are communicated simply and clearly. Start with what the change is, why the change is happening, and the benefits that should be expected. Your staff can dive into the detail and reach out if they need clarification or support.
Clear procedures and accessible training. Speaking of support, staff will be frustrated if the transition to the new way of working is cumbersome or confusing. Clear procedures and readily available training/support are both essential to guide your team through the process smoothly.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll greatly improve the chance of your change management initiatives being successful.