Most businesses, from a major international brand to a Mom and Pop store in a small town, can’t afford to stay the same forever. There will always be new competition that will move into Main Street or that nip at the heels of your Google rankings. For this reason, no company large or small can risk being too set in its ways, but it must adapt, grow and change in order to survive. Most of us can remember companies we loved and grew up with that disappeared because of the realities of the global economy, the digital world, or simply because a new and less expensive pizza shop moved in. Change is necessary to survive.
When Not to Make Major Changes
The most unfortunate circumstance for making organizational changes is when faced with a financial hardship which forces your company to make cutbacks, whether it is through cutting jobs or eliminating certain products. Ideally, you should be making changes in your company not when you have to, but when you want to. There are good and bad times for making organizational changes.
You should avoid expanding or making alterations in your business model when there is financial insecurity. Some people who feel their business is in trouble may make a mad dash to implement changes that will improve their cash flow. However, hasty changes that are not well thought out or implemented can end up costing more money than they save. Wait to make changes when cool heads can prevail and change is not undertaken out of a feeling of desperation. You are likely to make better decisions and the changes will be more sustainable.
When to Make Organizational Changes
There are many circumstances and opportunities for organizational change. This infographic put out by Maryville outlines several forms of organizational change. You may want to expand your company’s operations and extend its global reach. Perhaps your company wants to undertake a merger or acquisition or it is trying to fight off a hostile takeover. You might decide to change the marketing strategy for your product or adopt a new product mix altogether. In addition, you may have to make some changes to comply with newly adopted regulations.
If you see a trend that will help or hurt your business dramatically, change might be necessary in order to respond to it. Many major companies did not change their business model fast enough when faced with the realities of the digital world. At the same time, it is important not to panic. If you see a trend and it doesn’t seem to be going away, look for ways to capitalize on it or at least to avoid having your business harmed by it.
Preparing Your Employees for Change
It is not surprising that many employees are not so happy to hear that their company is making organizational changes. The reason is that they may be worried about losing their jobs or benefits. That is why it is important to keep the lines of communication open with your employees and listen to their grievances. The difficulty of this phase is that you may not be able to guarantee their jobs won’t be cut, and yet you should still listen to their concerns. Reassure them about things that do not involve dishonesty and allow them to voice their complaints. In addition, get the employees involved in the changes where appropriate