Embracing Change in 2017
2016 was most certainly a year of change. Not only did we have Brexit and Donald Trump being elected President of the United States, we also had the passing of some of the most iconic musicians and celebrities. It was a lot to handle! What is 2017 going to bring us?
No matter what size organisation you work for, one thing that is guaranteed to occur is change. It’s not always positive, and sometimes can create extra work and stress, but there is only one way to get through it, and that’s to keep moving forwards. If you are running your own company, or responsible for a team, there are some ways which can help you transition through the changes and make it as easy as possible for everyone.
Is the change needed?
First things first, is the change necessary? Having worked as an Account Manager for a software company in the past, I was astounded by the number of business owners who told me, “your software just isn’t working for us. It doesn’t do what we want.”. I would diligently visit them on site to hear their grievances and listen to the end users of the system. Usually, about 80% of their issues could be resolved by using the system. Just a few hours of additional training often helped.
Before making a change to any of your main systems, figure out if you need to replace them, or if some training and review of your own internal processes is really what’s needed.
Consider the impact
There are some changes which will have hardly any impact on your employees. If you want to change your website hosting company…not that big of a deal. The impact is minimal to most. However, if you are changing your payroll system…this will impact your payroll staff, controllers and anyone in finance. They will need training and time to test.
Changing your email client or CRM system creates even more of an impact. Most likely every single person in the company will need training. They will need time to get used to the system, and you will need a project plan for migrating data and a successful roll-out strategy. Make sure you have the support needed to make these changes, and a dedicated project manager or trainer who can devote their time as needed. Phew! It’s a lot to consider!
If your employees feel in the dark about what’s going on in the organisation, it can lead to uncertainty, confusion and ultimately people jumping ship. This can be avoided if you share knowledge and are as transparent as possible about any changes occurring. Even if you can’t share everything, let people know that you will when possible. Giving a rough timeline acknowledging that things could potentially change is a better approach than not saying anything at all.
Get people on board by adding posters to notice boards or community spaces within the office. Make sure to include anyone who works remotely by sharing via email too. If the change is big or significant enough, plan a launch party to acknowledge everyone’s hard work and input, and get everyone excited about it.
The start of a new year is always exciting, and perfect for starting something new. Just make sure you actually need to change, that the impact won’t be overwhelming, and above all communicate!
Marketing Manager | Bond International Software (UK) Ltd
p. +44 (0)1903 707031
m. +44 (0)7808736113