Changing a process is never easy, but it's even more challenging when you need to do it quickly. And in the pandemic conditions at the time of writing the truth is that most of us - including the government - are having to 'make it up as we go along'. Which means -...
So you’re a family business, and you’re wrestling with all the palaver that Covid-19 has created.
New regulations. New – and ever-changing – restrictions. New ways of working to keep your staff (and your customers) safe. And, of course, to keep in line with the law.
It’s a lot to deal with.
Some of the changes you need to make seem pretty obvious. Others don’t. And some may seem obvious to you, but not to your staff. After all – let’s face it – no one likes change. Especially when they can’t see the point of it.
And you’re running a family business. With staff who are used to a working environment that’s more relaxed, more focused on people, and less hierarchical. Which means they may not be too keen to embrace new and unfamiliar ways of working.
You think – or even know – they’re essential. Your team may well regard them as ‘bureaucracy gone mad’, and respond accordingly. They may even think they’re helping. After all, they won’t want to see your business drowning in paperwork. Or losing its attraction – to them – by becoming rigid and inflexible.
But you, of course, need those changes to happen. Right now.
So what’s the answer?
Start with a good, positive thought. You’re running a successful family business – and that’s thanks, in large part, to your team. You know they’re invested in what you’re doing, and dedicated to supporting you. So their resistance to change – ironically – is the result of their commitment to you and to the business.
And that’s what you need to build on…
Use that commitment. Work with it. You know your people – so you will know how best to get the same level of commitment to the changes you urgently need to make.
In practice that requires two things: patience, and time. You’ll need to talk to them. To explain what you are doing, and why. To discuss, with them, how those changes can best be implemented. Especially if your first ideas are causing problems.
In other words, wherever and whenever possible you need to involve and engage them. Because that will reinforce the trust and respect they already have for you and for the business.
Yes, it takes longer. And no, it wouldn’t be the right way to tackle an urgent emergency. But it’s the best way to build commitment to new working practices, and to ensure your staff do what’s necessary.
Even when you’re not looking…
You can see earlier posts about change management here on the website, of course. But if you’d like to talk it through, give me a call on 01359 240717 or drop me an email! The first hour is free, so there’s no catch.