It is getting more and more difficult for companies to remain the same year after year and still reap rewards. This is due to markets and sectors evolving faster than ever, and with competition becoming increasingly fierce, only those organisations that adapt will thrive.
But it is far easier to recognise the fact that change is vital but, it is difficult to implement as it is taking a step into the unknown; it is daunting to make decisions that could potentially change the entire direction and introduce a level of risk, especially for businesses that have tight profit margins. However, sitting still is not a viable option, so many business owners can feel a little stuck.
With this in mind, it makes sense to fully assess the value that change can have on your company, and then understand what needs to be done to ensure that all of your change campaigns go smoothly and achieve the best possible results while safeguarding your company for the future.
Have a strong vision
This starts with understanding what your company stands for, what you want to achieve. During this analysis, there need to be an acknowledgement of the company's strengths, where there is room for improvement and be aware of the challenges the company is currently facing and potential ones in the future.
Questions you could ask:
- What are my goals and objectives in the short and long term?
- Do I have enough human resources?
- Are my processes as efficient as they could be?
- Do I need to utilise different solutions and products?
- Do I understand exactly what your customers want, and do you have the capacity to provide them with what they need?
Once the analysis is completed you can start figuring out how your goals can be attained.
When it comes to making decisions that will change the dynamics or have a big impact on the company, it is essential that any changes are discussed and agreed. It is important to develop a culture and structure that will provide a platform for key staff members to give input and help develop the action plan when required. It is also vital that all senior employees have enough information to be able to inform their teams and manage the change process.
An all-encompassing change campaign will cover numerous departments and will impact any number of positions within the company, so it is critical that everything is aligned across the board. Without having buy-in and input from the people that will be at the forefront of shaping the company's future direction, it will be incredibly difficult to implement any degree of change.
Have a robust communications strategy
If you are going to commit to change - whether it be organisation-wide or something relatively minor - you need to ensure that you are open, honest and transparent. Keeping employees in the dark or the lack of communication can lead to confusion and mistrust. Actively communicating the benefits of the changes and provide relevant training would lead to a less chaotic change.
It is essential that required details are not hidden from employees and that they are kept in the loop; keeping people in the dark will not engender harmony in any way.
Evaluate, assess and update
What is crucial for any change campaign is to realise from the outset that not everything you do will work. No matter how much planning, preparation and research go into your projects, there will always be some aspects or variables that affect the results you initially want. Therefore, it is important that you constantly evaluate during the project, and then alter and update your plan should it be required.
Those involved must be committed to the company vision and strategy order to implement the changes, but at the same time, you cannot be afraid to adapt if results are not as strong as anticipated.