Change is inevitable and is something that all businesses will experience. Choosing whether this experience is a proactive or reactive change depends on how you approach the subject as a company.
In my experience, companies that embrace change the best start with a clear set of Core Values. These companies also tend to be the most successful. Core Values need to have both the companies and its associates best interests in mind. Key Core Values often include topics such as Ownership, Empowerment, Growth, Communication, Culture, Work and Home Balance.
Ownership – Begins with the owner’s personal commitment and an owner/associate shared mindset driven by pride in the company and what it represents.
Empowerment – One of the strongest drivers of change, is empowering the associates and opening the doors to innovative thinking. Innovative thinking is critical in growth.
Growth – Growth is most often found after empowering associates to be both creative and willing to take on some sort of change. Growth, utilizing empowerment, creates new projects, which in-turn, creates “buy-in”, resulting in a positive behavioral change in the company. Repetitive, positive change promotes growth.
Communication – Clear, precise, incoming, and outgoing communication is necessary in business. Leadership must have an “open door” to allow information to flow throughout the company. It is important to communicate and to listen to feedback of any form. There are many ways of providing or receiving this communication, such as e-mail, phone, in person, etc. Choosing which form of communication to use will vary by the messages importance and audience.
Culture – Culture within a company is created and modeled by its leadership. It creates a mind-set of what is or is not acceptable. Leadership must be a shining example of respect and they must portray what the company stands for. Setting a positive culture will create a healthy morale, engaged employees, and positive reputation within the community.
Work and Home Balance – Associates in most cases work to take care of their families. Think about this for a moment. Have you ever met an employee that had a family, so they can work? Showing that you care about your associates will give your company’s culture a healthy boost. As a best practice, within reason, be sensitive to the fact that the associates need to balance work and home. Both are important in their lives.
To experience growth thru positive change, leadership’s ability to interact with associates is always vital. The company’s Core Values must be shared and upheld to create an environment that welcomes change. Celebrate as a company when a change is met with positive results. When failure occurs, learn from it as a company and invite innovation into the mix. There are associates out there that have untapped abilities and they may know the path to success. The question is… Are you listening?