Change, as they say, is inevitable. Though it’s not something many look forward to, change is often required for organizational (and personal) growth, improvement, and enhancement. Think about the stores and industries that have gone the way of the dinosaur due to an inability to change when faced with adversity or new competition. Brick-and-mortar music stores provide a textbook example of this phenomenon.
Define goals and set expectations
It’s hard to hit a moving target, which is precisely why you must define in advance what you hope to achieve with your changes. While capturing your goals is a must, it’s only part of the necessary legwork. You must also define the key players and their roles and responsibilities so that you may set expectations with each accordingly. Obtaining that critical buy-in becomes a lot more manageable when you can prove to each person how their efforts will play a part in getting the company to the finish line.
Make the quick fixes first
When it comes to operational change, you don’t have to swing for the fences with every update. Getting buy-in across the board is easier when you’re working in chunks and grabbing the low-hanging fruit first. Start your changes by addressing the most obvious problems that won’t require a massive procedural overhaul. In doing so, you’ll get your team excited about the future and the impact of change without scaring or intimidating anyone.
Ask for feedback
Not all changes result in immediate wins, but that doesn’t mean you can’t glean meaningful insights along the way. However, the only way to obtain quality feedback is to engage with frontline employees involved in the day-to-day and ask for their thoughts. Companies with remote employees may be fearful that distance could result in added tension in this process, but we’re big believers in treating remote employees the same way you treat in-office employees. As part of your regular 1-1 meetings, try incorporating process change feedback as a recurring agenda item.
Be willing to course correct
There’s an old adage that says, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” That’s an important motto to remember as you undergo change because the last thing you want to do is move forward with something that seemingly continues to put you in a worse position than where you previously were. Asking employees to pivot and maintain a broken process is also a good way to cause undue resentment among your workforce. If you ask for feedback from employees, and the team says something isn’t working, it’s essential that you act on that intel.
Share the victories you do have
We mentioned earlier that not all changes result in immediate wins—but some certainly will. And others will come in time. As these wins do accumulate, don’t be shy about announcing them internally. Not only is this an excellent time to give a shoutout to your team for a job well done, but it’s a strong reminder to employees about what they’re working toward. Celebrating success is just as vital as analyzing failure.
Clarke Executive Services Group can help you properly manage your business
Change is hard so we understand if you’re unsure where to start when it comes to process improvement with your business. That’s why Clarke Executive Services Group offers operations consulting, helping business owners and leaders like you find the best way to create and sustain success. Whether your goal is to fine-tune your processes or workforce, Clarke’s Business Services Team has the know-how you need to get the job done.
Reach out to us today, and let’s chat about what Clarke can do for you.