When you started your business you probably had a certain plan and direction in mind but as your business develops and grows you might find your initial plans and ideas no longer fit the needs of your organization and that a period of major business transformation is necessary. As a business leader it is inevitable that when considering change you focus on strategy and tactics. But to succeed, you must also consider the human side of change management.
- Here are six top tips for helping you to successfully manage change at the human level.Be sensitive to change; major business transformation can create ‘people issues’ as jobs, reporting structures and even the skills required become fluid. This might leave employees feeling uncertain and even angry. Therefore you must be sensitive to the potential impact to your staff. Start early, build in plenty of opportunities for discussion and explain your reasoning open and honestly to help encourage employee buy-in at all levels. If you are a new business or have never been through a period of major change you might consider using professional HR services to help you navigate the process successfully.
- Approach from top down; Change is unsettling and as such your employees will be looking to you for strength and support. It is your job as a business leader to embrace change first and then to challenge and motivate those around you to follow your lead. Each individual has a role to play in encouraging the positive embrace of change.
- Set out your case; you may know change is necessary but have you explained your rationale to the rest of the organisation? People will want to know why change is needed, the strengths the change will bring to their business, jobs and future and that the leadership team has a solid plan for implementing change effectively. Build your case and communicate it at every level before you begin any formal process.
- Don’t be an imposition; Don’t be an imposition; you might be tempted to impose your change ideas onto your employees, after all it is your company. Positive change requires a different approach where members of staff at all levels are given ownership of the change management programme. It could be as wide as allowing a direct input into plans or simply giving individuals the tools to implement changes within their own role. However you choose to create ownership you will reap the benefits as people feel empowered to support your plans.
- Communicate the message. The best change management programmes involves regular, sustained and simple communication of the needs, direction and projected outcomes. However you choose to communicate ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for your employees to feedback and ask questions.
- Prepare for the unexpected; even if you think you have everything covered the unexpected can and usually does happen. Be flexible and willing to go with new ideas if things don’t go to plan but be sure to communicate these new ideas so that everyone will want to follow you on your journey towards a bigger and better company.
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