Changes are made to businesses daily. However, only some of these adjustments can advance companies in truly profound ways.
Some firms progress to meet lawful requirements, while others attempt to grow to reach the next stage of their development. Whether you’re trying to stay compliant or feed your ambition, each evolution that your venture goes through needs to be a permanent fixture that justifies the time and money spent making it happen.
You may also face difficulty here when dealing with these challenges. Do you listen to your gut instincts, or do you approach each change in an objective manner? Can a synergy form between them? How can you feel more confident about each evolution that you put your business through?
If you need some guidance on implementing lasting change in your company, continue reading for some insights on how the process can be made easier.
Weigh What You’ll Lose
Improving your business seldom comes without some element of compromise. You need to understand what you’ll be giving up.
Tough decisions could lie ahead. For instance, you may need to:
- Shrink to survive – Whether job losses are due to tough economic conditions or your firm is undergoing a radical overhaul, it doesn’t make letting talented workers go any easier.
- Leave great ideas unexplored – Companies need to be incredibly focused, especially if they’re smaller in stature. A good business proposal may only be viable if it comes along at the right time.
- Sacrifice personal time – If you are leading a company that’s undergoing seismic change, you may find yourself working harder for longer so that you can keep things running smoothly.
- Evolve your culture – As your business shapeshifts through the years, you may find yourself recollecting simpler times when your operations were smaller. There will be turbulence and uncertainty at times, but nostalgia must never become an overwhelming distraction.
Remember that ventures don’t always linearly move from strength to strength, sometimes they ebb and flow instead. You will need patience, perspective, and courage to ensure each change delivers long-term value to your business.
Create Change Through Education
Positive business change always comes from leaders who are informed on the latest issues affecting people and industry. Ignorance causes regression, while education causes progression.
Register for a short online supply chain course so that you can organically leverage change in your supply chain. Mitigate disruption to your business and have the tools and knowledge to keep all your processes running smoothly. Remember that there are many supplies chain concerns around the world right now, and additional know-how could help you weather the storm.
Upskill your workforce with similar courses or additional training materials. If employees keep advancing their skillset, they may feel confident enough to take on other responsibilities or pursue promotional opportunities.
If your staff feel invested in, they may feel a closer affinity with your business. They can feel as if they have undergone much personal change while in your employment and remain loyal to your business. Lasting change will come with recruitment, as your retention rates will be high as staff satisfaction soars.
Listen to Your Employees
If your employees are resistant to change, many of the measures you implement may never wholly be carried out. At worst, workers will refuse to carry out the changes if they disagree with them completely. This could negatively impact the morale of all employees, so steps need to be taken to prevent this from occurring.
Before making any seismic changes to the running of your business, consult any employees who may be affected first. Gauge their opinions and consider keeping a record of them. Take the feedback seriously. If you cannot come to an impasse, they’ll at least appreciate your time and consideration for their impressions.
Consider that there are many reasons why staff may be resistant to change. Events they may not all respond well to can include:
- Restructuring – If workers are coming and going or budgetary requirements are changing, it may make their job more challenging to perform.
- New software – Not every worker is a tech fanatic, and some may prefer to perform their roles using past methods.
- Different leadership – If a worker receives a promotion over them, feelings of contempt and bitterness could occur.
- Environment changes – If employees are used to working together in an office environment, then splitting them up or implementing mandatory remote working regimes may not be received well at all.
Of course, none of these changes on their own is inherently flawed. You should not second guess your decisions either or reverse them to appease a minority. It is unlikely you will always be able to please everyone with each decision you make. However, knowing how your workers feel before finalising these changes can help you mitigate potential unrest. Be reasonable, have patience and be a peaceful proponent of these measures if you fully believe in them.
Promote the Right People
Being good at a job doesn’t necessarily mean an employee will excel in a leadership position. Instead, you should observe their behaviour closely to see if they have the right personal qualities too. Only then can you be sure that they’ll be a good fit for a leadership role.
If workers have complained about someone receiving a promotion over them directly to you, there is a chance (but not a guarantee) that their concerns have some merit. Great leaders inspire unity, not friction, and while some complaints might stem from jealousy, strong resistance to another’s appointment can be a big red flag.
Try to promote those who have worked beyond the confines of their role. Note how they treat others, as even basic manners can reveal how well they’ll perform in a leadership capacity. Think about instances where they implemented changes to the business or even strove to and failed. How much influence do they have already? Even small things like organising staff social events can be telling, as it can all reveal something about their work ethic and creativity.
If possible, ensure that the decision is one that’s voted on by you and other senior staff members, as additional support can provide assurances around your choices. Leaders bring about change as a team, so the person you choose needs to assimilate into that dynamic seamlessly.
Hire Diverse Voices
Of course, feedback is crucial to business operations. Significant strides cannot be inspired or made without it, which is why you need to hear from as many people as possible.
True change can only be made possible by starting at the recruitment level. Hiring workers who prove themselves to be agile and creative thinkers is vital. Revisit the hiring process and try to make it more involved to engage candidates’ thought processes.
Remember that recruitment doesn’t need to be a laborious process. Inject it with some activity and vigour. Present candidates with problem-solving challenges and hypothetical scenarios for them to overcome. Do they think outside of the box? Can they handle the pressure?
The talent pool must be diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, and background too. The best workers often integrate their personalities and experiences into their roles, so if you broaden the parameters of your search, you’ll bring a wider variety of characterful voices to your business. Each will have its own unique ideas, bringing about lasting change.
People ultimately drive business change, so managing a diverse workforce and realising its full potential every day should always be the priority.