Tips to Help Your Employees Cope With Change
Growth and change are usually good for your business. Whether you’re opening a new department or branch, merging with or acquiring another company, or just increasing the number of people on your staff roster, those are usually signs that things are on the up and up for your business.
But, occasionally, employees can feel lost in the shuffle as their workplace changes around them. A merger might bring with it new rules or expectations, which can leave employees feeling as if they no longer recognize the company they work for. Hiring new staff can make employees feel frustrated or might make them feel overlooked. While few businesses can escape growing pains, there are things you can do to help your employees through any shifts or periods of growth.
Give Your Team a Voice
Often, when a company merges with another, there is a clash of cultures. That can be particularly true if one company has a very casual and laid back culture while the other is more formal and buttoned-up. As a result, employees who were used to being allowed to do certain things or who were used to more laid back rules about time and schedules might experience a bit of shock when they suddenly have to wear business clothing and are expected to be in their seats, working at 9 am on the dot.
One way to help employees cope with a culture shift is to give them an outlet for expressing their opinions or for making suggestions. You can give your team a voice in a few ways. You can open up a suggestion box, allowing people to make anonymous suggestions. Another option is to have open office hours weekly or a couple of times a week. For example, you can make yourself available for meeting with your team from 1 to 3 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also encourage people to schedule one-on-one meetings with you to check in about the change or to discuss any concerns they might have.
Make an Effort to Adjust Based on Employee Comments
Depending on where you stand with your company, you might be able to enact change based on the feedback you get from your employees. For example, if a manager comes to you and says that they feel overwhelmed after the company hired 10 new people, you might be able to offer to train an established employee to take on some leadership tasks and some management responsibilities, to ease the burden on your manager.
Of course, there will be instances when you can’t do much to answer or address your team’s concerns. For example, if your company merges with another, larger business, the larger business might have more of a say when it comes to cultural changes or hiring. The best you can do in that case is promise to take your team’s concerns to the higher-ups.
Give People Time to Adjust
Few people enjoy sudden changes, especially sudden changes that have a big impact on their lives. If possible, give your team as much advanced warning as possible about new changes or how your company is growing. Issuing newsletters or calling company-wide meetings, well in advance of a merger, acquisition or other big change, can help everyone stay on the same page. If you can, it can be helpful to make yourself or others at your company available to employees as you go through a big change.
Find Ways to Keep Your Team Motivated
As a smaller company grows, it can be easier for employees to no longer feel like their opinions or concerns matter, or worse, to no longer feel like the work they do matters. To help your team through a change, it helps to find ways to keep them motivated to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. For example, you can offer a reward, either in the form of a cash bonus or a freebie such as pizza, to the team that has the greatest number of sales or to the team that achieves a particular goal.
At New Direction Capital, our goal is to help your business achieve profitable growth. To learn more about how we can help you through each step of the process, contact us today.
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