Managing changes in your business


Businesses need to change from time to time. It might be to adapt to financial, customer or community implications or it might be due to a changing economy.

Change can be painful and disruptive especially role changes. It is how you manage those role changes in your business that will dictate how you are seen both by individuals on your side and your competitors.

Here are some things to consider during the planning stage.

Before you consider any knee-jerk decisions about how to make role changes within your business, you need to understand any legal implications. It might mean discussions with Directors, your accountant, company secretary, lawyer and managers.

If you don’t want people to leave or perhaps even claim a redundancy payment you need to plan carefully.

When you make changes to the roles of personnel within your business or non-profit organisation always look to minimise damage.  It may be necessary to eliminate jobs or change people’s roles but you want to be seen to be as reasonable as possible.

From an employee’s point of view, if their role is to change significantly, or if their role disappears altogether, they may react as though there has been a death in the family. Have a counsellor or outsource firm available.

Managing the potential risks

The risks to your business are not only financial, such as having to meet the cost of lawyers or redundancy payments. You will also be aware of how your business will be seen to the employees that remain, your customers, and the general community where you do business.

By acting with thought and compassion, you may still make role changes and force redundancy where this is necessary for the well being of the business. Bear in mind that to some people redundancy is the same as being dismissed. Apart from the individuals involved, you risk upsetting your entire workforce, which can lead to more employee turnover, low morale and a reduction in business profits.

Deal with redundancy effectively

By keeping people involved with the issues facing your business changes will not suddenly arrive as a shock to your employees. Where you operate an open and friendly environment, you are more likely to receive a suitable response when you suggest difficult, but vital changes.

In today’s connected world the press, suppliers, remaining employees, customers and your local community will watch every move you make and involve government, unions, social media and any necessary means, should you handle changes badly.

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