Business owners know that change is a prerequisite for growth. Businesses must change to remain efficient and profitable, to respond to market trends, and to stay innovative. But once you’ve decided on what changes are needed, you should take preliminary action to prepare the way before actually implementing the change.
Get Employees on Board
Most changes will affect the day-to-day work of an employee. Having the support of those employees can make a big difference in how smoothly the change takes place. Employees who are not sufficiently informed or prepared can cause delays by not adapting to it easily or even actively resisting it. Employees should be told why the change is being made and how, specifically, it will affect them. Involving employees in the change process is a great way to get their support. For example, you may train a few employees in the new procedures and ask them to teach the others.
Decide on Slowly or All at Once
Some changes can be done slowly, either in stages or by piloting the change in one department or area before applying it to everyone involved. However, other changes may be system-wide with no turning back, such as adopting new software. If a sudden change is needed, consider using 3P (Production Preparation Process) to soften the impacts. 3P is a method of making major changes quickly in your workplace. It involves looking at change holistically and envisioning the end product. It makes use of cross-functional teams consisting of people with various expertise who set goals, analyze problems, and select solutions.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Regardless of how carefully and thoroughly you plan, there will likely be unexpected problems or glitches as the change takes place. It’s important to have a plan to fall back on in case any part of the change process doesn’t go off as smoothly as you hoped. This may entail unexpected costs, lack of ability of necessary parts, or human error. Preparations may include backing up any vital information or documents or instituting temporary measures until the new system is fully up and running. In all cases, it’s necessary to create processes of communication and feedback to keep everyone informed.
As your business grows, you want to implement changes as seamlessly as possible. Planning for the change process is just as important as the change itself. With proper preparation, you can make changes smoothly and effectively.
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