How Small Businesses Can Weather the Storms of Change

Businesses face change all the time, driven both by internal or external influences. So you can be certain that, somewhere along the journey of your business, you will encounter a fork in the road and face the need to change.

Most people, in particular your employees, are uncomfortable with change because it interferes with their routine and exposes them to the unfamiliar. The question then becomes: will you –and your employees- rise to the challenge or resist it?

Here’s what can you do to make sure your business can better weather those inevitable storms of change.


Employees Come First

Maryville University’s wonderful infographic on navigating organizational change shows how and why business leaders must put the concerns and questions of their staff above anything else.

How to Navigate Organizational Change


Communicate Clearly

Don’t overlook the importance of keeping your staff informed – this is key to successfully managing change. Start communicating the change as early as possible, so people have time to come to terms with it. And it’s not just how often you communicate, but how you communicate with employees: be empathic and honest (don’t sugarcoat things). Make it an open discussion where questions are welcome.

Listen to the Team

Listen to the feedback you get – both positive and negative – from your managers and employees. And don’t dismiss the skeptics – they may be able to suggest alternatives that deliver the same results more effectively or help you avoid costly mistakes.

Be Flexible and Adaptable

Beyond helping employees deal with change, what about your company as a whole? In order to effectively weather the inevitable storms of both internal and organizational change, you want your business to be flexible. But what does a flexible business look like? In one study, the major 7 features of a flexible business included:

  • ability to adjust core concept,
  • analyzing competition,
  • listening to customers
  • understanding employees,
  • gaining more flexibility from less assets,
  • working with flexible systems and processes,
  • having fewer people make decisions.

In Conclusion

Change is often beneficial, but getting the entire company to accept it can be a challenge. By keeping their hand on the pulse of the marketplace and the- staff, business leaders can implement change that is embraced by – employees and beneficial for the entire company.