To Change or Not To Change…

2 Minute Read

It seems every industry is facing some type of change these days.  Change in customer spending habits, product delivery systems, and in personnel issues.  As we look at the various ways we interpret change, some will like the change, others not.

Change, as we know, is something that we recognize as important in order to remain in business or grow our business.  Usually we get to decide what to change and when to make changes.

More recently, we’ve heard more executives mention that they have to make some changes. “Have to…” insinuating that there doesn’t seem to be any choice about this.

There are always choices, however, we may not like the alternatives that we face.  Choices in keeping or letting go of employees, keeping or letting go of some customers, or positioning our inventory or purchasing equipment for growth are some of just a few difficult choices we may be faced with today.

A question to consider is whether these issues were just as important six months or a year ago?  There seems to be a trend of “let’s wait and see” and now we are hoping that we won’t really have to make these difficult decisions.

Regardless of the economic times, making decisions, especially difficult ones, should be made sooner rather than later.  The later decisions are made and therefore implemented, the longer it takes to get everyone on board with the process.

Business is changing. 

We knew it was going to change.  We’ve known it for quite some time. 

Customers are taking longer to make decisions about your products or services.  Some customer orders may be smaller than you hoped for.  Maybe some customers are not ordering at all!

What have you communicated to your employees?  They are looking to you to set direction.  Have you mapped out a clear plan to address current and potential changes?  Have you included your employees in gathering information about what they are seeing?

The key when making changes is to build employee faith in the future regardless of the business changes.  When people know there is change, but are not sure how the company will address the changes, they become scared.

Engage in discussions with people to get the right information flowing from employee to management so that the best decisions and plans can be implemented.

Demonstrate trust behaviors.  Follow through with what you say you will do.  Over-communicate on the state of the business with a plan on how to address the changes that are coming.

You must lead the process and behave in ways that build trust with the people who must implement the changes.  Step up and set a clear direction. Communicate the status of the changes and the results throughout the change process.  It’s not a whether you’re going to change that is the question…it is how you are changing that needs clarification.

For more tips on How to Handle Change click here.