Change is one of few constants in today's workplace -- particularly amid growing diversity, economic turbulence and continually evolving technology. Maria Coons oversees Harper College for Businesses, an arm of Harper College offering resources and training for area businesses and business leaders. She addresses the topic of managing change to ensure success.
Q: We're seeing a shift in demographics and technology and, more broadly, the way businesses are doing business. How can leaders manage that change so that employees embrace it?
A: It's important to remember that change occurs as part of the overall process of moving a business forward. You must constantly scan the environment and look for threats -- and also for opportunities -- that can impact your business.
Access to relevant data is critical. Data should be gathered from suppliers, customers, employees and other stakeholders. That data then needs to be analyzed and acted upon. Action is imperative. There are many opportunities to ensure that change positively impacts your company, but business leaders need to be adequately prepared with the right data and analysis that can then help shape the appropriate action.
Q: What are the top three tips for managing change in the workplace?
A: 1) Have a clear vision. 2) Communicate that vision succinctly: Explain why the change is needed to achieve the vision, and do this consistently. 3) Take action: Put things into motion with distinct objectives and timelines.
Q: Change is often feared. How do you combat that and turn change into a positive force? …