Change is inevitable, especially in business. Change is also hard. Some, if not most, people are resistant to it. People seek comfort and will do everything to avoid leaving their comfort zones. Unfortunately, this type of mindset simply does not work in a business environment, writes James Short.
The market is always changing. What is working now may not be viable in the near future.
Market trends are always changing and evolving. If you’re aiming for longevity and long-term stability for your company, you have to be fluid and adaptable. This not only applies to you as the leader but also your team.
Your team needs to be able to go through and adapt to change. And it is one of your responsibilities as a leader to help them through the process.
Whether it’s as big as a merger or as small as process changes, leading your team through change is daunting. As was mentioned before, we as human beings seek comfort. Once we have found that comfort zone, it goes against our nature to move away from it.
Maybe it has something to do with our survival instincts, but being uncomfortable even with a possibility of big rewards is intimidating. As an entrepreneur and a leader, it falls upon you to lead your team through change and make the process as painless as possible.
Create a plan with the team
Don’t make changes just for the sake of making changes. However, if it is necessary in order for your company to move forward, plan ahead and plan it with your team. This way, you will not surprise your team with the company’s new direction.
Involving your team with the planning process also eases them into the idea of change. Getting them involved through the whole process makes them invested and even welcome the idea of the need to shake things up. It gets them excited which replaces their hesitation with motivation.
Never lose sight of the “human” aspect in all areas of your business. When it comes to change, it is expected that your team members will feel emotional through the process. Resistance to change is almost always caused by fear.
Let them know that you have their backs. Lead them through change by welcoming feedback. Listen, understand and empathise with what they are going through. Tell your side of the story and let them understand how change is ultimately for the greater good of the company.
By James Short, consultant
James Short has been assisting principals and directors lead and grow their businesses for the past six years. Taking them from being stuck, unclear and not moving forward to having that clarity, direction and accountability within their organisation.