Tony Alexander
Dec 9, 2015

Is Your Business Going through Change? Here’s What You Need to Know to Prepare Yourself

There is an old cliché that says the only thing that is constant is change. I’m here to tell you that this is the truth – both for you and your business. Companies undergo several changes on the path to success, such as growth, hiring spurts, layoffs, adding new products, discontinuation of products, relocation and changes in leadership.

While you can’t stop change, you can learn how to approach and manage it like a pro.  The process of managing change takes continuous effort by all members of the organization.  Here is how to prepare yourself.

Change for change’s sake

Some people hear the word “change” and run for the hills, while others welcome it with open arms.  Not all change is good and not all change is bad.  However, change just for the sake of saying “we changed” is a terrible waste of time, money and other resources.  Today’s organizations and business leaders are faced with an accelerated expectation of change and are expected to meet these changes at the speed of light.  The first step to effectively managing change is to make sure the change is necessary to your business’s future.

Leading through change

Business leaders must know not only how to manage change for themselves but for their organization and individual team members.  Change will look and feel different for individual employees at different times but if you can effectively lead the change process, everyone should be on the same page in the end.

Before a major change, front line supervisors and leaders should take the “temperature” of their organization, including individuals on their team.  Through rapid change initiatives, members of your organization will be at different stages of change and acceptance at different times.  It is ultimately up to the leader to help their team members all end up in the same positive place. This can be done by:

  • Acknowledging your employees’ emotions.
  • Creating a safe place for team members to work through their emotions and come to terms with them.
  • Answering their questions as openly and honestly as possible.

Telling people how they should or should not feel is never a great idea in a change process as it only creates more resistance and stalls the process even longer. Give your employees the time and space to come to terms with change.

Build a coalition of change agents

A coalition of change agents can act as advocates for change and help more resistant employees move through the process.  The coalition of change agents are responsible for:
  • Modeling the needed change behaviors to others within the organization.
  • Staying visible and actively engaged in the change process.
  • Reporting progress or road blocks to senior leaders.
  • Remaining credible during the change process.
  • Creating short term wins that help their peers in the organization cope with change in small, manageable increments.

This guiding coalition will be responsible for restating the vision and strategy handed down from senior leadership while working together as a diverse and influential team.

Selecting the wrong coalition will lead to the wrong results.  The wrong results leads to failed change efforts and failed change efforts can compromise the future of your business.  The guiding coalition will help guide the overall organization’s vision and strategy, and not just one particular individual or metric.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on TriNet.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

 

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