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Implementing Change in Your Business

Implementing change in your business; the thing that makes you reach for your imaginary shield and sword as you prepare for the inevitable confrontation with your employees.

We’re all aware (including your reluctant staff members) that change is happening all around us and is a necessary part of a thriving business. So, why does it feel so hard to actually bring about? 

Good news! We have a few tips on implementing change in your business in a simple and successful way. So, retire your armor (but keep the crown because you look amazing in it) and let’s get the ball rolling!

1. Set Clear Expectations 

Communicating well and avoiding “grey areas” is absolutely number one when it comes to implementing change.  Although grey is an amazing neutral color, it is meant for clothing, couches, and cute puppies.. not for structures and procedures.

Make sure to clearly relay all stages, instructions and expectations you have for your team upfront. During these conversations, be very clear with WHY you are changing your employees’ current “status quo”. If they understand that you are not just “changing things for change’s sake,” they will be more receptive and open to what you have to say.

2. New Habits Take Time 

According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 2 months to create a habit. This time period is pretty short compared to the roughly 66 days it takes to BREAK a habit! 

So what does that mean for you when implementing change in your store? Don’t get discouraged if it takes some time for your staff to catch on and for processes to flow naturally again. You believe that the changes made will help your business and you’ve communicated that well to your staff, so don’t give up! Be persistent and show some grace as your employees navigate this new territory in their individual ways.

3. Lead by Example.

Did you grow up hearing, “do as I say, not as I do”? As a boss, manager, or leader, leave that phrase behind! The best way to motivate your staff is to lead by example. Your staff will have one less excuse to not do something if they actually see you or your managers/floor leaders doing it. 

Just like when you’re preparing to introduce a new employee to the team, your leaders are the first people who you need to talk to and get on-board. It’s much easier to ask the rest of your staff to join in when your key players are with you, pushing for your vision and long-term growth plan.

4. Schedule Check-ins

While changes are being implemented, you and/or your manager(s) should take time to sit down and have a conversation with each of your team members. Give your team time to ask questions, suggest ideas, talk about wins, and tell you their concerns.

If any of your employees are not responding positively, let them know that they are heard and that their feedback will be taken into consideration. The more you understand their perspective, the better you can help them work through the change and come to respect the value of it. 

5. Open Door Policy

An “Open Door Policy” allows for transparency between you, your managers and your employees. It creates an environment in which questions, concerns and/or feedback is encouraged! You and your team leaders are in the business of preventing and putting out fires. Your job is to do everything you can to make your business run successfully, with employees that feel integral and empowered. This “Open Door Policy” is key, especially when implementing change, in helping you to know what’s happening at the core of your business so that you can address things proactively.

This policy also caters to an “every voice matters” mentality, which is a great way to gain a new perspective. Not only will concerns be brought to the forefront, but so will new ideas! No longer are employees feeling less than, unimportant, or simply just a generic cog in the wheel. 

6. Lead Change Passionately

Your passion for your business and the positive changes you want to make are important to you, so SHOW it! We all remember bosses we’ve had who were on fire for the work that they did and inspired us to be better, so let’s take this opportunity to be that for our employees!

Adding more tasks, responsibilities, and expectations are much easier when your employees can see how your “WHY” clearly connects with their “WHY.” Your changes are meant to make things better for you AND your employees, so keep bringing your positive energy and encouragement to the table! 

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