Change is often necessary to move forward – especially in the business world. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry serious risks, however; as well as disrupting the everyday business operation, periods of change can take a significant toll on the wider workforce and cause drops in productivity, motivation, and even employee retention.
And with the number of UK businesses ceasing to trade on the rise according to data from the Office for National Statistics, it’s never been more important to handle change within a business as smoothly as possible.
Whether you own a business yourself or work for one going through a transitional period, here are three key steps in creating and maintaining stability.
Just as in many other areas in life, good communication is essential in managing change successfully. Employees of all levels and departments are bound to have questions, and the longer they go without satisfactory answers, the more likely they are to become stressed, dissatisfied and act out.
Provide a platform for colleagues to ask questions and raise their concerns. If you have a clear idea of the reasons behind the change and the future that lays ahead, use this as an opportunity to keep everyone on the same page and boost team morale.
Seek outside help
Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is all you need to spot potential roadblocks and find ways to work through them. Hiring a transformation director to steady the ship and assist in implementing change could provide the expertise and objectivity you’re crying out for.
The popularity of interim management is on the rise as more companies turn to professionals with experience in business transformation. Whether your problems lay in sales, personnel or systems, a transformation director will quickly get up to speed, guide you through a difficult period, and leave behind a positive legacy.
Find internal champions
As well as seeking outside help, don’t forget to use what you have internally. Make brand advocates out of those who understand and believe in the company’s future, and find ways for them to unite employees new and old in the same direction.
You could put out a call for volunteers or quiz managers on who they would put forward themselves. Having at least one internal champion in each area and level of seniority will help to bridge the gap.
Is change on the horizon for your business? Use these three tips to calm the waters and push on towards a brighter future.