Change, it can strike fear in the most seasoned of business owners. We as human beings are not overly comfortable with change at the best of times, but in business, it seems to freak us out more than usual.
Given that one of the most constant things in life is change, shouldn’t we set up our businesses to manage change, to be adaptable and to inspire our workforces to welcome change as a natural part of the daily schedule?
Human beings like routine; We like the same coffee shops, gym, the way we wear our hair or places to dine. We are creatures of habit and workplaces are no different. We get given a job description when we start in a role, and we know what is expected of us. But things change all the time, and we need to be preparing our staff, our management teams, and ourselves for constant and continual change.
Take the world of digital marketing – It changes monthly, weekly, even daily at times, so as savvy marketers we continuously have to change our approach. I listen to about ten podcasts each week and read a lot of content on marketing so that I am up to date with all the changes, and then I trial different approaches to my own business marketing. If it works only then will I roll it out for my clients. Change is part of my job in digital marketing but also in what is new in customer service and in helping businesses improve their offering.
Change is scary because as human beings we don't like change. We will adapt quickly, but we don't care for it. So how do we adopt a change friendly workplace?
Attitude is key to managing change. Try to always keep a positive outlook on what is going on in your business and help your employees work this way too. Lead by example and know that anything that is thrown at you can be managed and you will find a solution. Don't dwell on negatives or why something worked in the past but is not working now. If you stay positive, your employees are more likely to stay positive as well.
Learn new skills and train your staff consistently.
Learning new skills helps us keep our minds open and gives us a willingness to try new things. Commit to trying to learn a new skill every week. Don’t have time I hear you say? Well listen to a podcast while you are getting ready work, read a book in your break time or find a hobby. These things help give you perspective and help drive your business. And work and train your staff, not just when they start with you but throughout their entire employment.
Plan for the future
Doing blue-sky, big picture thinking exercises can help you to see the bigger picture and not just the day to day grind of running your business. Planning helps you map out a path forward, but make sure you are flexible with your plans. Things change, and that's ok, adapt around them. And if you can, try and communicate your ideas for the future with your staff so you can get them excited about where the business is going.
Try and manage your team with an open and transparent communication method, and allow your staff to come to you with ideas and feedback so that you can continually strive to have a better business. Often some of the most innovative ideas that you will see come from other people, so let people help you have the best business possible.
Change can be hard, but if you make it a priority to have a workplace flexible to change, you will be able to enjoy the ride all the more because of it.
Just my two cents worth. KB
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: