Change can make you feel vulnerable and uncertain of your future, but it is an unavoidable part of life. In business, you never know when a competitor is going to spin in a new direction and create a product that steals a customer or two. You never know when the economy is going to affect your bottom line or when an employee you trust is going to quit without notice. The only way to combat the stress that comes with this type of forced change is to remain as fluid as possible at all times. Do not allow yourself to sink into the comfort of routine and blind yourself to what is happening around you. You must always be alert. You must always analyze your business for inefficiencies and opportunities to make changes. Rather than falling victim to change, you must learn to use change to your advantage.
Champion Small Wins
When you are faced with a big change, think small. Rather than stressing out over a complete overhaul for the entire company, focus on one department or one team. Your stress level will be more manageable, and you will be more productive over the long haul.
Continuous Improvement Log
Display your continual improvement log with pride. Hang it somewhere public, where even your customers can see. If someone else contributed to the ideas on the log, make sure they are given credit on the log.
Utilize the Suggestion Box
Put out a suggestion box and actively implement as many customer and employee suggestions as possible. Your competitors may not be doing this, but that is even more reason to do it in your business. Your customers will feel they are a part of the business, and your employees will feel respected and appreciated. Also, customers will see how delivering customer value is a priority of everyone on your staff.
It is your job to remain positive, no matter what change brings your way. Your team may have their doubts and their spirits may be dampened when a new plan doesn’t go off as expected. It is your job to nurture positive thinking, pick their chins up, pat them on the back, and tell them it is okay, you are going to try again or try something new. If you are positive and show confidence in their ability to succeed, they will feel more positive and confident in themselves. You may have your own doubts and may spend your own time worrying, but your team must never see that side of you. Acceptance of change must be a core value for everyone on your team. Let new employees know right from day one that your business makes proactive change and is always on the lookout for ways to improve. If you have problems with someone resisting necessary change in the future, you can discuss that problem with them knowing they understand the core value of your business.