Times are changing and as the saying goes, you have to roll with the punches. What worked five or ten years ago might not be as effective today. To stay ahead, you need to be innovative and think of new and effective ways to improve your business.
Sadly, these innovative efforts may sometimes be hindered by different obstacles. Here are 5 obstacles you will face during a work culture change and how you can work past them.
1. Resistance to change
Shaping and changing people’s mindsets and the way they work can be the most challenging of obstacles yet. There is a level of comfort in doing the usual and venturing towards the unknown can be so daunting that people just resist change. Your work culture may unknowingly adopt the thinking “don’t fix what isn’t broken”, thus hindering innovation.
What can be done? Take the stigma out of failure and encourage a ‘move on and learn from your mistakes’ mentality. Encourage and empower your employees to come up with ideas and assure them that all ideas are valued, whether or not they succeed or fail. Start with small business changes and innovations and make sure to celebrate even the smallest of wins.
2. Not sharing the “Why”
As Friedrich Nietzsche once said,
“He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any ‘how’.” When people know and understand the reason behind a change, even if it takes a considerable effort, they will commit to it and follow through. If people feel that they are part of an important change, they can get real fulfillment in their jobs. To do this, a business owner needs to know his employees well so that he knows what motivates and energises them.
3. Facing bottlenecks
Traditional hierarchical leadership can cause bottlenecks in decision-making and restricts innovation and information flow. In contrast, organisations that empower middle management to spearhead innovative new projects will remove bottlenecks and further propel the company’s development.
4. Not following through and rewarding those who do
Staying committed until projects are completed and making sure you follow through until fully implemented is crucial during changing times. More often than not, innovative new projects are viewed as “extracurricular activities” and put under the non-urgent list. Such a mentality will be detrimental to reaching new goals. How can people stay committed? Early on, identify why the project is essential and who benefits from it. People who will benefit directly from the project will most likely stay committed until the end. Upon completion of the project, the efforts of key players should be recognised and rewarded accordingly.
5. Changes are not ‘tangible’
Companies that are leaders in innovation are changing up the traditional way of work. They are tearing down the big office walls and adopting communal offices. They are making work arrangements more flexible by providing remote work options. Dressing down is not just for Fridays and champagne is a staple in the pantry. They offer transparency with everyone’s work progress and decision-making. By changing the tangible, they are changing the intangible as well.
Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. There will be obstacles that you will face during a work culture change. By approaching each systematically, you and your company will be able to shape and change your work culture.
Need guidance in improving your business? Get in touch with MRS V today.