Recently, we’ve talked quite a bit about preparing your small business for growth. Our recent series has provided numerous tips on what steps you should take so that you are ready to hit the ground running when business picks up. Today, we’re going to address resistance to change - a potential threat that could cause your efforts to fail. This same resistance may cause you to reject great ideas - like moving to our free inventory management software. A lack a familiarity with internet applications may cause pause for concern. Moving away from pen and paper is also hard. That's why our free inventory management software is made for the most novice of users. So don't let resistance hold you up. Try it free today.
Need to change, but can't?
Being able to adapt is crucial as your small business grows. Not only is the marketplace changing, but your place in it will change as your business becomes more successful. As this occurs you will have to make some changes in the way that you do business. We’ve talked extensively about how to prepare for change but we haven’t really addressed what to do when your employees simply don’t want to change. Even though our free inventory management software is super easy to use and saves time, we've still seen resistance on new users' staff. Plain and simple. People just don't like change.
Change is hard. Just ask the developers of our free inventory management software how much they like change.
Of course, we’d like to believe that we will make the best decisions for our business and that our employees will gladly implement these changes as well, but we all know that reality falls short of that ideal. There are a number of reasons for resisting change. For many people it’s because they don’t understand the change or they don’t like the change. We hear this often when on-boarding new clients within our free inventory management software.
If resistance to change is rooted in a lack of understanding that can easily be addressed by explaining the change in a different way. Don’t just repeat the same information again. They heard you the first time. Saying the thing in the same way again can come across as very aggressive and make the employee feel bad for not understanding the information. Look for a new way to explain or demonstrate the desired change. If the change is procedural, be sure to provide a “cheat sheet” that outlines the new steps. Particularly if it is a task that the employee does frequently they may revert back to the old way of doing things any time they are tired and/or distracted. Having a hard copy reminder near their work station can make the transition smoother for everyone. We find this tactic super important if you have tens of employees and you're implementing a new tool like our free inventory management software.
Dealing with resistance linked to a dislike of the new way is harder to deal with. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the old way, even if the new way is more efficient. Often employees are comfortable with the way they’ve been doing things and a little nervous about learning a new system. Address that upfront by providing adequate training and letting employees know that you understand the learning curve they are facing. If they feel secure in their position and confident that they won’t be penalized for any mistakes that occur as they are learning the new way, they may have a more positive outlook towards the whole experience. In the beginning, the new way may seem more difficult simply because it is unfamiliar. Chances are, the new way will be easier in the long run but it will take time to develop the same comfort level that employees had with the old system. If the new way does involve more steps or a more cumbersome way of doing something don’t try to hide it. Explain to employees why this new process is necessary and how it will benefit the company in the long run. They will be much more willing to make the extra effort when they see the big picture.
The most important thing is to recognize that change can be difficult. Look for signs of resistance and actively address them so that they don’t hinder your growth efforts. Provide employees with the support that they need to adapt and implement the changes and you will see positive results.