How To Manage Change & Still Keep Your Culture
Gabriel Bristol, President & CEO, Intelicare Direct
It is often said “the only constant in life is change,” and in business this takes on several meanings, especially relating to strategy. For example, when sales are up it is wise to develop a strategy for when they might fluctuate.
The same is true in staffing models and in organizational structure. Because staffing levels are often a bi-product of revenue they can sometimes fluctuate. This, in turn, causes confusion and stress as staff scramble to make sure all the work is divided and assigned. Not to mention, employees tend to be somewhat migratory, so even in good times they pursue other opportunities, which can lead to the same chaos.
So how do you manage change at the fundamental organizational level? How do you keep the machine working even when sometimes key components are missing?
Here are three tips for effectively navigating through organizational change while maintaining a company’s culture, mission, values and goals:
- Listen to employees: It is critical that you or the leadership team take the time to carefully listen to what employees are feeling and saying regarding the change and confront any fears head on. This will help determine what issues need to be addressed and alleviate the increased stress levels that many may be feeling.
- Implement a plan and share it: In managing the transition effectively, it is highly important to develop a plan, build strategic teams to tackle the workload and clearly define roles and expectations throughout this change. Be sure to keep goals realistic to avoid frustration.
- Communicate frequently: Successful leaders keep others up to date on helpful, relevant and truthful information, as the change process usually means employees will be fetching for more information and answers than ever before. Be sure to maintain your visibility, strive for open dialogue and give employees an opportunity to provide input.
Most of the time company leaders know when changes are coming, as they are often instrumental in effecting those changes. However, while what is on the horizon may be a known quantity, how the company’s people will respond is often a mystery.
How a company handles personal changes speaks a lot to its culture, as leaders, CEOs, vice presidents, directors and managers all have an obligation to protect and nurture that culture when it works and even change it when it doesn’t. Keeping track of how your team(s) are handling major change is a great way to maintain that culture.
About the Author
Gabriel Bristol is widely recognized as one of today’s most talented call center presidents because of his track record of developing turnkey solutions, effective customer care and sales programs for small and medium-sized businesses across various industries. He combines more than 20 years of successful executive management experience with impactful leadership and igniting stagnant businesses and transforming declining operations. Bristol’s approach is personal, insightful, forward thinking and provides strategies that result in customer service excellence.