The new decade is here, and with it comes a billion new expectations for your company. What you do now can set your company up for success, or it can be your downfall. Facilitating organizational change is easy to theorize and come up with, but putting it into action can cause a lot of problems. Here are the top tips for moving forward with a change: A Guide to Changing your Current Business Operations.
Regardless of what kind of change you’re putting into place, you need to have it planned out. If you’re changing over to a mass payment system, or just moving to recycle, there are steps to take so it goes smoothly. If you run blindly into any change, you’ll cause an uproar among employees and potential customers. People can adapt if they’re fully educated and warned ahead of time. Your company is a breathing organism of workers, don’t just throw it into ice water and expect it to be okay.
Create A Structured Change Plan
If you’re not entirely sure how to create your plan, or what steps are needed to facilitate change, talk to department heads and ask what the employees may need. Communication can help fix almost every roadblock.
Educate In Advance
Don’t just drop your new change plan in a memo the day before it’s started! Again, employees will need an adjustment period. Let employees know a reasonable amount of time ahead of when your new policies or operations will get implemented.
Of course, the amount of time needed can vary by change, but usually, at least a week or two is acceptable. Have meetings about significant changes, let employees know what you expect of them. Talking face to face can help people understand new concepts and overcome the resistance to change.
Who is First to Know About Change?
Supervisors and floor managers are your best friends when it comes to change to overcome resistance to change. They should be the first to know what’s happening and the first to be fully educated on it. Make sure that supervisors understand that they need to lead by example and that they’re ready to train any employees if they have questions.
They talk to employees more than an owner of a company does, so they need to understand the change to be able to discuss it. If the managers or supervisors have any questions, be sure to answer them as quickly as possible.
Don’t Rush Change
When the time comes to put your well-thought-out plan into action, give your employees some wiggle room. Please don’t hit them with whiplash from going from one program or device to another. Although your business can’t stop to give everyone months to acquaint themselves with these changes, they will need an adjustment period.
For substantial changes, it might also help to allow employees to email you directly with questions if they have them. Direct contact will show that you’re open to working with them on it and that you want them to succeed. Don’t let your employees become disheartened because they think the new changes don’t consider them. Let them know that this change is a work in progress, and you’re willing to hear their feedback.
Follow Up and Keep It Fresh
People can have a bad habit of slipping back into their old ways. After a couple of weeks, touch base and see if they’re sticking to it. If your plan went through correctly, they should be able to produce and work as quickly- or quicker- than they did before.
If you find employees aren’t using the new customer service practices, you may have to attempt to train them on it again. Make it clear to employees that this is the way your business is run, but also remember to listen to any problems they may have.
Review Change After the Change
A change like introducing new automation can help business. But, even the best-laid change plans may have problems. Listen to your employees and their supervisors. After enough time has passed, they’ll have a better view on if this will work for the company. If the change doesn’t make their jobs easier or faster, or if it slows down production and keeps it that way, you should rethink the plan.
Nobody wants to have to undo this amount of work, but you have to think about the long term. If the change plan isn’t right, you can either make changes or scrap it altogether. Don’t be embarrassed if it doesn’t work out. The important thing is that your employees showed they were willing to try it.
All companies have the opportunity for growth and change. It’s important to know that change can take time. Treat your employees well, and they’ll return the good gesture tenfold.