Businesses juggling change management efforts and strategic initiatives as they work to adapt or reposition their organization to cost-efficiently and effectively operate in the new market reality often face a number of challenges from a corporate leadership standpoint. As even the most successful executives are aware, driving positive employee engagement, managing hiring and recruitment, and successfully facilitating workforce training and development efforts around new technology or business process innovations can be among top concerns. Following, we take a look at several of the most common problems that CEOs, senior managers and entrepreneurs frequently stare down when pivoting or preparing their enterprise for future growth and expansion -- and, through careful planning and strategy, how to overcome all with a minimum of friction.
Adapting to Changes in Business and Business Processes
Why It Exists: Organizations and individuals are frequently used to routine ways of doing business, and become entrenched in surrounding processes and procedures, which come to feel predictable and comfortable to them. Anything that threats to disrupt the norm is viewed as upsetting the status quo, and results in the knee-jerk response of being considered a potential source of friction, rather than opportunity.
Ways to Solve: Educate employees as to the direct, tangible benefits to be gained from adapting new methodologies, policies and approaches, and how they impact both the business' and their own individual everyday operating realities. Directly show how efforts lead to enhanced output, and illustrate the incentives to be enjoyed by embracing new approaches.
Buying Into New Leadership Visions
Why It Exists: Given the accelerating pace of innovation and changing business markets, strategy and organizational focus has increasingly begun to change at a rapid pace as well to accommodate these new operating realities. But to individuals operating on the front lines, these efforts can often seem confused, ill-placed and scattershot in nature, leading them to question new or existing leadership's judgment.
Ways to Solve: Maintain a clear and consistent vision for initiatives, projects, products and brands, and cohesively communicate it throughout all efforts, helping tie various ventures together and underscore their importance to the larger game plan. Regularly meet with teams and managers to assess execution efforts, source feedback and address rising points of concern.
Facilitating Positive Skills and Knowledge Transfer
Why It Exists: The more experienced and established the employee, the more he or she may be biased towards prior experience and methodologies over embracing new approaches, techniques, tools, technologies, skills or processes. But the professional and operational skills required to succeed in the 21st century world are far different than those embraced by previous generations, leading to potential culture clash.
Ways to Solve: Make continued education a priority, and provide ongoing training, instruction and professional development programs and solutions, coupled with mentoring and collaboration efforts, in order to both clearly demonstrate ROI to participants and enhance learning and retention. Encourage employees to expand their talents, contacts and skill sets, and cultivate a culture of participation wherein experimentation and failure are vital steps in the learning process.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Why It Exists: Small businesses often find themselves between a rock and a hard place - they often cannot offer the financial upside or perceived stability of larger, more well-established companies, or provide the same level of potential upside as emerging startups. With tangible benefits tempered and clear paths for forward advancement often muddy, it can be appear difficult to put together compelling offers or incentives, leading to difficulty with recruiting and retaining key hires.
Ways to Solve: Craft compelling base offers coupled with novel incentive-based performance schemes tied to clearly measurable goals, and provide clear roadmaps outlining how, when and under what conditions employees will have opportunities to progress in their career. Look for singular skills, talents and connections that involvement in your business' ongoing projects may convey, and give all the opportunity to grow and improve through active participation.