As your business grows and adapts to industry changes, you’ll probably implement some internal changes along the way to help your team keep up their amazing work. Whether it’s a new workflow, software, or policy, there’s bound to be some growing pains. Part of being a good manager is preparing for the challenges of growth and facilitating a good transition for the whole team. There’s no better way to do that than to get everyone on the same page and make a plan for making change as painless as possible.
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Accommodate Different Learning Styles
Many changes bring with them a lot of new information for your people. Some will take to it faster than others. What’s important is to remember that everyone learns differently.
When coming up with a strategy to introduce your team to their new process, make use of the four learning styles in any training materials. When you understand which learning style each of your employees benefits from the most, you can set them up for success by making the most effective methods available. Once everyone is given new information in a way they can easily digest, everyone can confidently move forward together.
Be Open and Patient with Followup Questions
It can be efficient to bring everyone in for a big group meeting about the future vision of your business, giving everyone the news all at once. But when everyone is together, hearing the same things at the same time, it can be hard to absorb all the details on the spot. Be honest, be open, and be available to answer any questions your team has. Even if they don’t have questions now, a good manager makes it clear they’re always available for clarification as needed.
When you keep the doors to communication open, no one will feel lost or stressed about the risk of making a mistake. When people know management is there to help–and not just leave them to figure things out on their own–the transition always goes smoother.
Keep Everyone in the Loop as Changes are Ongoing
After you share the vision with your team, keep the communication going. Share every change, every stop, and every step with the team so no one is left behind. The more your team knows, the easier it is for them to keep up with changes without any problems. Whether it’s daily update emails or weekly newsletters, just keep them posted.
Start Teaching the New Changes ASAP
Worst case scenario: something new is brought into daily business practice, but no one understands it. Your team is left scrambling to meet expectations while figuring out the new process through trial and error. And they’re not going to be happy about it. As soon as you can, train your employees in the new protocols so they can hit the ground running on day one.
Designate Change Leaders
When you’re about to bring in any new elements, designate a few trusted team members to help facilitate the changes by being leaders in the process. These change leaders can be trained first, then break your team down into smaller groups.
This will give you point people to answer questions and solve problems that may arise. This frees you up to oversee the changes and provide additional support if your team needs it.
Test the Changes
The best way for your team to understand new ideas is to see these changes in action. If time permits, create role-play demonstrations where employees can see what-if scenarios played out. If your employees would benefit from a more interactive version, you can give them training exercises where they put their new knowledge to work in their own role-play demo. It will take a lot of planning, but it will be well worth it when your new changes start taking effect.
Ask for Feedback
Once training has begun for the new changes occurring in your business, take a poll of how things are going. When you take the time to sit with your team and ask how things are going, you may learn something new.
Your team will let you know what potential pitfalls you may face as your new changes take effect. They will be able to let you know what it’s like performing these changes and what you can do to make the transition easier and more efficient.
Share In the Success of the Changes
Don’t take all the credit, and don’t take all the spoils–share with the team! When the changes start working and start becoming a part of your everyday business, let everyone have a piece of the success pie. When employees feel appreciated for their hard work, you will retain them longer and your business has a better chance of higher success than you ever imagined.
Growing a business means change is inevitable. Whether you oversee a team of three or 50, do your part to make changes easier for them to implement. Not only will your team thank you for it, but they’ll be better equipped to help your business reach new levels of success.
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