Change is inevitable, especially in the field of business. The structure of your business from when you first started most likely looks very different from the kind of business you have today. In today’s fast-paced world, business owners must be well-equipped to deal with different types of organizational change, from mergers to acquisitions.
Here are a few practical tips to help you effectively manage organizational change within your company.
Have your legal team review the risks.
Organizational change brings with it new and unfamiliar legal challenges. Before committing to structural change, have your business law attorney go over any agreements or plans in order to minimize risk and advise you with regard to compliance issues.
Clearly define the changes that will happen.
Avoid confusion and rumor-mongering by stepping up as early as possible and clearly defining the changes that will happen. Provide frequent updates as these adjustments or if any new developments occur so you can offer reassurance to your employees. Just make sure that the information you’re sharing is accurate, and don’t promise anything or set unrealistic expectations about what the future holds.
Don’t deny your employees’ feelings.
Certain organizational changes will require you to let go of your team members. It’s understandable for them to feel upset, confused, and hurt. Don’t deny them of these feelings, and pretend as if everything is business as usual. Recognize their struggles, and give them the space to process these emotions.
Be open about the challenges.
Let your employees know about the potential challenges that the business will face due to these changes and how you plan to deal with them.
Recognize the past.
Before you adopt an “out with the old, in with the new” mindset, recognize the achievements that your team worked so hard to accomplish prior to the change. Celebrate your employees, and communicate just how integral their work is to the company.
Draft a transitional plan.
Have a solid transitional plan in place that details exactly what will change and how the transition will happen. Clarify your objectives, the changes being made, how it will affect the business and its stakeholders, and what you will do to address any issues that arise.
Involve your employees in the process.
You need to expect that your employees will have plenty of questions, suggestions, and feelings towards these changes. Instead of shutting them out of the proceedings, involve them in the process and give them a platform to voice their concerns. This will make the process much easier for everyone since you’ll be able to hear recommendations from the people most affected by these changes on what the best course of action to take is for everyone involved.
Don’t micromanage your employees.
Your team will need time to adjust to the new structure of your business, but they will eventually acclimate themselves to the new set-up. Give them the freedom to navigate these changes, rather than breathing down their neck. The more you micromanage them during this period of transition, the more difficult it will be for them to get accustomed to the new circumstances.
Ensure that your business is prepared to handle any organizational changes that have to happen by keeping these practical change management tips in mind.