By: First Union
What to Do When Dealing with Organizational Change
Whatever the field or industry, there is at some point going to be changes made to your company. Some of the things that may hasten such change include: a shift in consumer needs, the ever-changing course of technology, your service offerings evolving and the list goes on.
Organizations have to evolve; they have to be able to adapt to changes and do so effectively. This may mean restructuring, implementing new teams, overhauling how you approach customer interactions.
And during times of major change, your business will face challenges—this should go without saying. What are some of the biggest challenges that companies face when dealing with organizational change…In this article we look at a few of the obstacles change brings and what can be done to surmount them.
Effectively Implementing Change in the Workplace
According to a recent study, it was determined that 70% of businesses fail to optimize their changes; the change, simply put, is ultimately a failure and they're back to square one. This is large because they aren't addressing the challenges inherent in organizational change—not really, and so they're not getting results, certainly not the ones they expected or wanted. So what can you as the business owner do when undergoing change to ensure that those challenges are addressed head-on, and your company continues to function as it needs to in order to prosper and grow…
Communication is Key
Lack of communication is perhaps the leading cause of change gone wrong. In order to lead your company through a major change, objectives and directives need to be made crystal clear. Creating goals and what's more, communicating those goals is absolutely essential if you want everyone to be on the same page. Otherwise, chaos could ensue and that's certainly not what you want to happen when undergoing a significant change. Some things to keep in mind as far as the communication aspect is involved:
Make sure the channels are open across both horizontal and vertical lines. All departments should be in sync and know what's going on and when.
Encourage open and honest communication among all members of your team. Yes, you have to be clear and convey messages, but so do they.
Open communication should be a central part of your company culture anyway. If need be, express this repeatedly. Drill down the benefits that departments and team members get from ensuring that there is that exemplary level of communication. Beyond just stressing the value of communication particularly during a time of organizational change, you need to make sure that logistically everyone can effectively communicate. It could be about introducing a new platform or tool to help facilitate this. You maybe need to do a bit of restructuring in order to get everyone on the same page. The point is, whatever needs to be done to enhance your firm's communication, go ahead and do it. Otherwise, the change and subsequent challenges may wreak havoc on your business.
Set Those Goals
Identify the goals early on. Manage those expectations and get your team moving toward the objectives that you set in place. Many have said that the biggest obstacle to organizational change is often the fact that goals aren't outlined—at least not clearly. Furthermore, you need to be thorough in your rationale for what you're doing and why you're doing it.
Here is where communication intertwines with goal setting. And don't necessarily create said goals in a vacuum. Look at it from your team's perspective. They are going to have questions—you need to provide answers that make sense. The clearer your goals and rationale, the more on board and informed the employees will be.
As far as their responsibilities and jobs go, definitely make the rationale and consequent goals clear. How will they be impacted by the change? Can they expect their roles to change? What should they expect in general moving forward? Make certain to answer such questions leaving out no details as far as they're concerned.
This may be a great time to reach out to the various departments and ask them direct questions about their needs and get their feedback. This could be a very valuable tool for approaching your organization's change. Just as they need to hear from you, you also need to hear from them at this critical juncture.
Organizational Change Can Happen Smoothly
Will your results last? You may make the necessary adjustments, conquer the hurdles and get through it, but will the change be sustained. Studies have shown that near fifty percent of companies fail to see positive results from said changes over a five year period. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation. When going through a dramatic shift, you want to bank on it working and improving your company's overall outlook.
Some things to keep in mind that may help you sustain your organization's major changes…Organizational change may be slow. It's not a quick fix—not if it's going to be effective and it won't happen overnight. The most successful changes take time, patience and effort.
Also, be sure that you are prepared for this change and that you have the capabilities to undertake a major shift in your company. Do you have the money, the talent to pull it off, the time to dedicate to it? These are essential if you want to make your organizational change count.
One thing you might do is to first start encouraging an overall growth mindset among your team members. Yes, perhaps it will be a major change, maybe the company will be evolving, but actually, this should be happening regularly. At all times companies need to be focused on their growth and evolution. Otherwise, what is there to do but stagnate and get left behind. Fostering throughout your company this idea of constant growth and adaptability to evolutionary change will only make it easier one there are major shifts with which you have to contend.
At First Union, we have helped many businesses through their organizational changes. We offer many loan options from short term loans to equipment financing. Call today!