Creating lasting change is more complicated than ever before. Business environments have become more diverse and initiating change is often perceived as being too complicated or costly. Change is imperative if you want your business to be successful. The ability to change means that your business is able to adapt to changes in the market and capitalise on opportunities quickly.
The ADKAR model for change management
There are many principles that you can apply to successfully inspire change in your retail business. Before we dive into these principles, it’s important to understand the concept of change management. You can use the ADKAR model to identify gaps in your change management process and provide effective coaching to your employees.
According to the ADKAR model, change requires managing five key phases.
- Awareness of the need to change;
- Desire to participate and support the change;
- Knowledge of how to change;
- Ability to implement the change on a day-to-day basis’ and
- Reinforcement to keep the change in place.
The ADKAR model will help to identify why changes are not working and help your business take the necessary steps to make the required change successful.
How to inspire business change
With the understanding that change management is an important concept and that it will create a more adaptive team environment, let’s take a look at some of the must-dos for inspiring change in your retail business.
1. Make change a top priority
Inspiring change in the workplace is critical. Employees need to be encouraged to notice areas where change is required and communicate these areas to management. Management should always be open to suggestions and formulate a culture of trust so that employees feel comfortable to share ideas.
Making change a top priority will create a more adaptive team environment that will contribute to improved collaboration, communication, and efficiency.
2. Create guidelines for requesting a change
With change being a top priority in your business, there should also be clear guidelines for employees to request a change, idea or initiative.
When an employee has identified an area for change, who do they go to? What process do they need to follow for their idea to be accepted? There should be clear guidelines in place to make it easy for employees to voice their ideas and receive timely feedback.
Once an idea has been received, management will need to decide if the proposed idea for change should be implemented or not. Management teams will need to address each idea individually and determine the way forward.
3. Identify the Chief Enabler
For the proposed idea to be implemented successfully, there should be a chief enabler. The chief enabler should be responsible for driving the proposed change and ensuring project completion.
The chief enabler will also be responsible for leveraging business strengths to ensure that teams are equipped to complete the tasks allocated to them.
4. Communicate change effectively
As soon as a new idea has been approved and is being implemented, it’s necessary to communicate this change to the rest of the business. Many businesses under-communicate a powerful vision and this results in employee frustration and reluctance.
Clear communication throughout the project will ensure that employees are all on the same page. Communication can take place using company business letters or digital tools.
5. Publish a detailed project plan
Efforts to implement change are often wasted when leaders jump in and start in the middle of the process.
Once the idea has been approved, it’s necessary to establish a clear action plan. Ensuring lasting change requires a well-thought-through process that includes milestones and objectives. All parties involved should be aware of what is expected of them. Individual tasks should be created with clear-set deadlines.
Need a tool to create a detailed project plan? DotActiv’s team management software for retail can help you with this: Create and assign checklists and tasks with specified criteria and deadlines with Activ8.
6. Encourage participation from all departments
It’s necessary for all departments to be involved in the implementation of the project plan. The reason for this is to create excitement about the proposed change and to ensure all departments contribute to the success of the project.
Leaders who encourage participation and engagement from all departments are more likely to fulfill their change visions. Project success will occur when all employees have their hands on deck and are focused on achieving the same goal.
7. Provide regular feedback
Both the chief enabler and management teams should provide regular feedback to all departments. Feedback should include small successes and updates on how far along the project has progressed.
It may be a good idea to have weekly meetings with key role players. You can use these meetings to ensure discipline and follow-through.
8. Mitigate team fatigue
Change is difficult and leaders will often come across team fatigue. Leaders need to provide support to those struggling with change and continue to drive a culture that is conducive to change.
Leaders should share quick-wins and encourage success stories from employees. Employees that can already see the benefits of the project should share the value that the change has brought to them to other colleagues.
9. Remove obstacles
It’s guaranteed that there will be obstacles of some shape or form when taking on a new project. Obstacles can result in teams losing sight of the goals they need to achieve. Leaders should try their best to remove these obstacles and provide all the assistance needed to fuel lasting change.
Obstacles can come in many forms. Therefore, during the planning stage of the project, leaders should aim to anticipate any obstacles and already begin to put steps in place to remove these obstacles.
10. Ensure lasting change
When there is full commitment from teams to implement a change, behaviours that are likely to occur include co-operation, better focus, and continuous improvement. To build lasting change, leaders should continue to build the team, look ahead and reward small achievements.
Lasting change will occur when leaders are able to adapt to new environments and manage threats and opportunities.
Inspiring change requires clear guidelines, tasks and project plans. Activ8, DotActiv’s team management software for retail can be used to drive a culture of transparency, accountability and lasting change. Learn more here.