The business world is constantly changing, which is in sync with the ever-evolving advancements in technologies, market demands, customer expectations and product developments. Feisty competitions, new marketing strategies and volatile global economy are also playing a strong role in defining the pathway for organizations to take. 21st century companies are consistently struggling to stay sustainable, growth-oriented, profitable and competitive. Hence, there is no way to evade the very word called ‘change’, which is needed to keep away from being stagnant.
No wonder it is believed that companies that do not change, do not grow. As more and more organizations are learning to introduce positive changes within the workplace, it sometimes gets difficult without a systematic approach, and to make it work becomes a separate challenge.
How to imbibe ‘change’ and unleash its positivity to employees
Today’s companies are in a constant stage of change wherein they are ever ready to welcome new alterations and implement better and profitable ideas. Multiple external and internal factors such as competition landscape, global economic cycles, emerging and advanced technologies, new GenZ workforce, new communication channels, and shifts in market innovations push organizations to rethink their business strategies.
This is where organization leaders play the most significant role – to identify the necessary changes, to introduce them within the workforce, to justify them to the employees and most importantly to deliver what are promised out of those changes. ‘Acceptance of change’ as a part of corporate culture implies that people should be ready and positive towards any sort of change rather than be worried about their execution.
Acceptance of change is possible only when the employees at large will develop a positive outlook towards change and will think out of the box to introduce them for the good of the company. Although it is easier said than done, a pragmatic and intuitive approach can help people accept changes as part of organizational culture.
Shift employees’ belief about change: To make ‘acceptance of change’ a part of corporate culture, the most important thing to do is to understand employees’ equation with change. Company leaders need to assess how employees perceive change and their reaction towards change. It is imperative to have an open discussion about why change is feared and why it is admired by employees.
It is also advisable to have workshops or sessions with employees to gauge their belief system about change and aspects that dominate their thought-process. This can be done by studying their behaviours, habits, emotional quotient, their expectations from work, professional goals and personal motives. Communication plays a powerful role here between the leaders and the employees.
Make ‘change’ sound like an opportunity: Change is often mistaken or misunderstood as something dreadful. Its unpredictability and associated ambiguity add to the worries and apprehensions. People in general love to stay in their comfort zone wherein they are aware of the known/regular or monotonous processes. But this leads to stagnation and they ultimately stop growing, learning and exploring.
Change is the trigger that pushes them to achieve beyond their capacity, but it is important for the leaders to define change as a source of immense opportunity. It is important to clearly express what rewards await the acceptance of change and how it drives employees to win greater results with limited resources. Change should be led from the top down.
Let change come with clarity and transparency: Employees accept change wholeheartedly when it brings good tidings with profitable results for all. So, ensure that there is no ambiguity attached with the business transformation that the company is trying to achieve. Determine a timeline when the changes will be announced and ensure that you have a complete communication plan ready to talk, discuss, execute and measure the impact of these changes.
Decision makers, managers and team leaders should be on the same page while communicating the message behind the new changes and there should be total clarity and transparency while answering employees’ queries and concerns regarding the organizational changes. It is important to introduce change and the purpose behind the same as early as possible.
Make ‘change’ a part of corporate vision: For a profit-driven company that thrives on innovation, technological advancements, market presence and customer experience, it is crucial to make change a way of life. This requires it to be accepted as a pivotal element of the corporate vision itself. When a company stands against status quo and stagnation, it should define change as ‘consistent growth’ and as a ‘source of fresh ideas’.
Corporate vision is the most powerful statement that every employee reckons and hence it becomes easier and faster for them to accept change as part of the corporate culture. Agility, resilience and versatility can become the most valued attributes of a company that can keep its employees alert, active and intuitive always to look out for newer opportunities and scopes of business improvement.
Invite feedback and employee involvement: Just introducing the changes and implementing them arbitrarily will serve no purpose at all if the real and honest purpose behind the changes are not communicated well. This also means that leaders and decision makers should be open to ideas, inputs and employee feedback around the organizational changes. They should feel free to express and discuss their expectations, apprehensions and observations, which will invite wider employee perspectives and insights that will ultimately enhance the scope of improvement of the business strategies.
In fact, leaders should make every effort to involve employees at all levels while introducing and implementing the changes that are supposed to add holistic value for all. When people are involved and engaged, they do away with their perceptions, assumptions and chaos.
So, is your company and its leaders ready to make the best out of organizational change to make it a part of your corporate culture? It’s time to retrospect.