Challenges of Change

CHANGE is the number one constant factor in all growing businesses.

What worked well yesterday or last month may not work today or next year.  Staff, scheduling, finance, marketing... all of these are facets of business where quality leadership is needed in navigating the changes a growing business faces. Many of these challenges revolve around having an effective staff in place.  Prepare for the rapid change that happens in business by considering these suggestions as a roadmap.

  1. Slow It Down! Hiring well has a huge impact on hours spent later in crisis management.

When hiring new staff, it is critical that you make sure potential employees share the vision of your business.  Businesses whose staff either reject the vision of the company, or only provide lip service can undermine the success of the business.

It's also critical that you check out potential staff thoroughly.  Overkill on reference/background checks is necessary. Be creative in researching potential employees- Social media, Google, references from references.  Of course, the standard background checks are important, but you'll be amazed at what you find out when you dig a little deeper.

Also, consider the mix of your current office staff when bringing on new staff.  Great teams have diversity in them, but they are also built well, considering personality types, experience level, and other key factors.  Think of your staff as a baseball team- is it made up of all pitchers?  What about the personality types- all hot heads or all introverts?  Balance is strength!

QUESTION: What is your best advice for hiring practices when it comes to bringing new staff to your business?

  1. Clear as Mud? Write & explain job duties for your team members!

Simple, clear job descriptions are critical, and reviewing those job descriptions on  a regular basis is vital to maximizing the performance of your team.  Consider using a fresh set of eyes to assist in the evaluation of these job descriptions, maybe someone who has never done it before.

How about allowing employees to evaluate their own job description and duties?  Determine who it is in your office that needs a job description either written or amended.

QUESTION:  What areas or job duties in your business need the most work now, and who is going to do them?

  1. Who's on First?  Constant change is no excuse for poor communication.

First, you must decide how you will communicate, and be committed to it (email, bulletin board, scheduling program, smoke signals?).  Everyone faces challenges in business, but poor communication seems to have a "mulitiplier" effect on every other problem it is attached to, making the existing problems magnified in length and severity.  Consider having a “5 minute staff meeting” to start each day!  This is a simple way for your team to all start the day off on the same page!

Here's a great motivator for increasing the quality and consistency of your communication. Ask yourself, "What have been the consequences of poor communication for us as a company so far?"  It doesn't take long to build a sizeable list!   Above all, it's vital that you recast the vision on the big basics for your business repeatedly.  Whether it's through one on one conversations, company emails, or a sky writing airplane, your team needs to remember your core principles and values, and to be reminded of them again and again.

QUESTION:  What communication tool has been most effective for you?  Which has been least effective?

  1. Pull Your Head Out of the Sand! Confront problems effectively.

Timing is important, and clarity is essential regarding addressing problems, solutions, and consequences for failure, as well as rewards for success.  If you have more than one employee(yourself), then you will have problems among staff.  How, when, where, and what you do to handle these problems will either launch you to the next level of success, or stymie your growth and success.

It's so important these days to document everything... and back it up somewhere.  Document as if it might end up in court, because it very likely could.  Involve individuals in clarifying the issues and/or challenges, and what options are available in meeting those issues/challenges.  Wise counsel from King Solomon in Proverbs 15:22 says, "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed."

QUESTION: What is the hardest part of confronting staff problems for you, and why?

  1. Give a the Man a Cigar!  Congratulate success regularly.

Consistency & creativity in affirmation are key to building confidence, trust and self-esteem in your key leadership and staff!   So as you affirm them, take time to find out what appeals to your staff- verbal affirmation, cash, time off, gifts, promotions?

Multiply yourself as an encourager. Build on success by giving successful staff a chance to invest in other employees. You'll be surprised at what a difference it makes in team loyalty, cooperation, and overall success of your team.

QUESTION: Who on your staff deserves some type of big pat on the back, and how are you going to do it?

So get ready for success, it's coming your way!  But it's up to YOU to make the most of it as you build dependable, creative and dynamic teams of leaders.  Tom Peters is well known for saying "Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders!"  Why don't you become well known for DOING IT!?!

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