A growing business will experience all kinds of change. Your Business Core may be strong and your Systems may be efficient and effective but various types of change that impact your business are inevitable. According to the Business and Industry Portal of the Queensland Government, Australia,
there are three major types of change that may influence your business:
This is a change that you may make to your Systems or operations. If you have created a fortified Business Core, you will have documented Systems already working in your business. When you designed your Systems they were the most effective operations that you knew of at the time. However, as you move forward, there may be improvements that you should make to a system to improve its effectiveness. This is easy when all you have to do is analyze the elements of your existing process and change only certain parts of it.
These are mostly, small steps that can be implemented without a lot of effort and your workers and affiliates can see exactly how the change will adjust what they are currently doing. Sometimes, technology and industry advances may be the reasons that indicate change and training on new skills will be required. In this case, you should bring in experts if necessary or you may decide to do the training and coaching yourself. Always use your best training and coaching skills if you are the teacher. If you keep your workers informed and they understand how the change will improve your Business Core, the change should evolve smoothly with acceptance by all involved.
At some point, you may discover that a System needs to be added or completely replaced. This may result from technology advances or industry changes. This change will probably be very uncomfortable for your workers or affiliates because it will disrupt strongly ingrained and habitual practices. This is hard for anybody. It is critical that you help everybody understand how this change fits into your Business Core and what the potential benefits to the business and employees will be. Leave no unclear and potential impacts out of your introduction to the change. Help everyone know that you will need any suggestions or questions shared as soon as they come up. If training is required, use experts or good training and coaching skills.
This by far is the hardest type of change to manage. In this situation, you may be required to implement complicated technological changes, change the nature of your service or product, or make severe changes in several systems because of market competition or some other force. A strong Business Core will make harsh change manageable although still difficult. In most situations, the Mission and Values will remain static, but a drastic change may involve changing your Vision, Management Strategy, Talent requirements or Systems.
This type of change is extremely difficult, but it can be managed efficiently also. Using your established Business Core as a reference, you can address each element of the Core one at a time, changing what is as needed. As in all important business decisions and processes, involve your workers and affiliates in the planning, implementing, and evaluating of your new Systems and objectives. A positive approach and desire for learning new things will help you become successful as you work on this complex challenge.
Change management skills are some of the most valuable skills that an entrepreneur can possess. Mastering change management skills will help you grow faster than many of your competitors who don’t recognize their importance. Change will occur whether we manage it or not.
A rigorous hiring process must be followed by a carefully planned onboarding process. You’re bringing a stranger into your business and you want the new hire to adapt to and improve your business culture as well as help you get to your objectives.
He or she can’t do this by coming in and just doing what he or she thinks should be done, no matter how much talent and experience the new hire may have. The new hire must first get to know how you operate (your systems) and what you expect him or her to do on a daily basis. You or your best employee must carefully teach the new hire what is expected, what to do and how to do it.
If this is your first hire, it’s the best time to shape the culture and work habits that you want to see throughout your organization. The real point is, the faster the new hire feels welcomed and prepared to do the job, the faster and more effectively he or she can contribute to your business objectives.
According to Talya N. Bauer of Portland State University, there are four levels of onboarding and we will consider them as four ways an onboarding process can help you succeed:
1. Thoroughly discuss and confirm compliance issues -This is a fundamental area that all employees must know and abide by and includes legal requirements and all policies and regulations. An example would be paperwork or documentation requirements for your industry or training on racial and sexual harassment if applicable. The business owner is required to design a plan for and require adherence to all critical compliance issues.
2. Spend adequate time clarifying all performance requirements. -This is the function that makes sure that the new employee clearly understands the job they will perform and what is expected of them. This is taken care of if you have an adequate position description as well as a thorough plan for training and coaching.
3. Point out and explain the Values that are important to your culture.-This relates to the Values that you have adopted as critical to your business. For example, the importance of integrity, excellence or customer respect. Your culture should be introduced in your application process, in your interviewing process and in all phases of your on- boarding process. It must also be seen in the behavior of the owner or manager.
4. Explain and introduce to all connected to your enterprise.– Inform the new hire of the affiliations or interpersonal relationships necessary to do the job effectively. Training on how to interact with customers will probably be the first area of connections that you will address. Relations with all affiliates will, first of all, be modeled by the founder or manager and that makes it easy to teach to the new hires.
Most organizations do a good job of distributing documents and policies to the new hires, but some don’t take the time to make sure that the employee understands these requirements. It’s worth the time to make sure that there is full understanding throughout the onboarding process. Allow the person to ask as many questions as needed.
Often companies don’t put much effort into training about the culture and helping to build connections. This is where the real success happens, so spend plenty of time informing the employee about you Mission and Values showing hin or her how they are played out in your everyday operations.
You may also consider including the new hire in some of the planning for his or her onboarding. This is a great motivator and will help the new hire begin to understand you and your management style.
Getting work completed in an excellent manner will improve and grow your business consistently. The attitude and involvement of your workers are critical to excellence. However, we are often unaware of how our behavior as managers affects our workers. Sometimes, little things that we are unaware of can have a strong effect on how our workers perceive the importance of their job performance. Managers have many things to do in the work day and keeping track of everything is sometimes very difficult and it seems all you can do is barely make it through. Although it may be difficult, carefully focusing on your workers and keeping them motivated will eliminate many of the daily problems that you have to solve. So, what are some of the things that you might unintentionally do or allow that kill the spirits of your workers and eventually make them not care about doing their best for your business?
1. Not feeling confident about leadership. This happens when operations don’t go as smoothly as they should time and time again. It makes workers think that the people in charge don’t know what they’re doing or is not paying attention to the important things. This makes it difficult for the workers to do their jobs and they just go along half-heartedly.
2. Poor performers getting by and never corrected. This occurs when poor perform
3. Poor communications practices. It’s frustrating when workers get confusing, inadequate or wrong information, particularly when it is managements’ responsibility. This can lead to rumors and all kinds of misinformation which leads to poor performance as well as demotivation.
4. Workers feel undervalued. When workers feel that their work isn’t being recognized or appreciated, they lose energy and are not committed to the business. When credit isn’t given when credit is due, motivation suffers.
5. Conflict. A conflict between workers in the business can virtually tear it down. Intimidation and bullying can be part of this problem as well. This conflict will often arise from the poor communications practices listed above.
6. Unachievable workloads. The expectations and demands placed on a worker can make the worker feel burdened by an impossible workload. This will cause stress, disillusionment and of course, demotivation.
“An employees’ motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” Bob Nelson
Being aware of these situations will help you avoid them as you grow your business. Continuously learn about and improve your management style and practices and you will be able to hire and keep the best workers for your growing enterprise.
See also: “8 Common Causes of Workplace Demotivation” Kristen Hedges. Forbes Magazine and
“7 Reasons for Employee Demotivation” Michael Page