How you implement operational change is as important as the change itself.
It’s not just announcing that change is coming, plotting out steps, setting timelines, and assigning tasks. If you forget to inform and consult your employees before implementing changes, brace yourself for conflict.
But how can you make these changes easier for everyone?
In this episode of Help! My Business Is Growing; our guest Nikki Rogers shares how formulating a change management strategy can help you reach your goals faster and easier.
She’ll discuss its critical processes so you can effectively transform your organization and sow the seeds of business success!
Timestamps for this week’s episode
- 06:24 How can you make organizational change easier?
- 10:30 What can you do to prepare your business and team for impending change so that it is pain-free when the time comes?
- 22:43 How do you manage employee resistance to change?
- 29:16 How do you have conversations about the compensation and sales commissions with your employees who will be affected by this change?
- 38:19 What’s the one step you can take right now or next week to start and implement change management appropriately in your business?
“Change management is moving through that valley between where you are right now and where you want to be in the future.”– Nikki Rogers
How can you make organizational change easier?
Plan it properly. It’s not advisable to just start making changes and implementing new systems and processes; this will lead to pushback and resistance.
Ensure that your people are aware of these changes and that they know what’s happening.
Stop, take a step back, and explain everything:
- What are you changing exactly?
Is it the compensation structure? reporting structure? org structure? operations?
- Why is the change necessary or important?
Outline these changes’ benefits and discuss why they’re important at the organizational, divisional, team, and individual levels.
- Give people the tools and resources that they need to make the change happen
Arrange for tutorials, training, and walk-throughs so your staff can see, learn and know what to expect. Consider pausing incentive schemes, lessening production quotas, and avoiding giving penalties during this transition phase because everyone is still feeling it out.
- Openly discuss how these changes will affect their current positions and compensation.
- BE HONEST AND CLEAR.
Don’t just focus on what’s great for the organization; people really care about what’s in it for them as well.
How can you prepare your business for change?
- Start communicating early.
- Be transparent and talk about the change
- Discuss why this change is happening
- Get feedback from those who will be affected by these changes daily.
As a leader, you’re not the person whose job will be impacted by this transition.
Find those who will be and get their input and feedback.
- Cultivate champions.
Find your cheerleaders or those with a lot of influence in your organization. Encourage them to talk about the change, get them on board, and they can help rally everyone to your side ao by the time you get to the point where you’re actually making the change, half the battle is already done because you won their hearts and mind.
“Communicate. Give people the tools they need and listen to those resistors – they’re not always wrong. They may identify a flaw in your plan – so, listen.”– Nikki Rogers
How do you manage employee resistance to change?
Identify what’s causing the resistance.
- Is it because they don’t know enough about the change?
- Maybe they are unaware of its ultimate outcome?
- Do they even believe in the outcomes?
- Maybe they disagree with management’s vision for the company, especially if they are the “wait and see” kind of employee.
Bring your company cheerleaders and “change champions” to help you motivate those on the fence. Have them farm out surveys, and gather information via focus groups or town hall meetings to really pin down what is preventing them from getting fully on board.
For those folks who are really resistant:
For bigger organizations, get them involved in the change. Invite them to planning meetings and make them part of the process. They will either continue to resist and bring up all the reasons why it’s a terrible idea, or they will start to help you address those issues.
But for a smaller business, you might have to decide to leave resistors behind when your company moves forward.
How do you have conversations about the compensation and sales commissions with your employees who will be affected by this change?
Talking about compensation or sales commissions might seem daunting when framed by impending organizational change.
It starts with changes in our roles and responsibilities: for example, you might be putting a new sales process wherein the sales team now has support systems in place vs. having to do everything on his own.
Technically they will be working “less” (for example, now there is a team handling invoices or delivering merchandising support and so on) and will be able to focus on their zone of genius, warming clients and closing sales. In this sample above, it’s only natural for people to resist or be unhappy about compensation changes.
However, you can bring up how it can positively impact the organization’s long-term sustainability; and so this is how it has to work. And that as long as the organization is there, they will continue to have jobs and roles within.
You need to get clarity on what is changing and why.
It’s not enough to say you want to change or transform your organization. This means you have to think and strategize so that you can come up with a plan to enact successful change.
- To make organizational change easier, be prepared to answer the following:
- What’s changing?
- Why are we changing?
- How do I, as an individual, make this work?
- Make the transition easier by finding champions and influencers in your organization. Get them on board and on your side, and have them help you cascade complete details to everyone else in a clear, relatable, and concise manner.
- Invite diehard resistors to be part of the process and to help you plan the change. They will either continue to resist or help you find ways to implement them successfully.
- If compensation and sales commissions will be affected by the change, share the benefits they will receive by being part of an organization with a sales force that receives additional support. Inform them that it will allow them to grow as professionals, and you’ll soon find out if this is something they are willing to do or if they would rather not be part of it.
- To implement change immediately, the first step is to get clear on what you want to change and why you want to change your process, operations, or structure.
About guest – Nikki Rogers
Founder and CEO
The Bladen Group
Nikki is a transformation coach and the CEO of Bladen Group. She is an experienced management consultant who has worked across multiple industries and is passionate about creating sustainable organizations through people-powered change.
Nikki is a proud alum of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, a Project Management Professional (PMP®), and a Change Management Advanced Practitioner (CMAP). She is a graduate of Leadership Fairfax and serves as board treasurer of Washington Improv Theater.
Nikki loves to read and travel and hosts the Women Thriving in Business podcast.
Website – https://bladen-group.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nikkirogersofficial/
Host of Women Thriving in Business – https://www.womenthrivinginbusiness.com/wtib-podcast
Women Thriving in Business Four-week Activation Program- https://www.womenthrivinginbusiness.com/
About host – Kathy Svetina
Kathy Svetina is a Fractional CFO for growing women-owned businesses with $1M-$10M in annual revenue.
Clients hire her when they’re unsure about what’s going on in their finances, are stressed out by making financial decisions, or need to structure their finances to keep up with their growth.
She solves their nagging money mysteries and builds a financial structure with a tailored financial strategy. That way they can grow in a financially healthy and sustainable way.
Kathy is based in Chicago, IL and works with clients all over the US.