Change is all around us. From technological innovations to cultural shifts in the way we live, play and travel, our world is in a state of constant change. Businesses are also moving faster than ever, with a greater emphasis on change management, which is now seen as necessary to guide companies through major changes. But how often can an exciting and rapid growth be considered a major correction? rare. this is a problem.
Change management techniques are critical to enabling companies to adapt to the way we do business, how we must adapt to changing business needs, or changes that have the potential to create discord among employees. However, the need for change management in the context of aggressive growth is often overlooked. People think companies can absorb this change because it’s positive, but change is change.
Without the key components of change management, significant growth, especially in a fragile economy, can create serious pain points for employees. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, 70 percent of change efforts fail, largely due to employee resistance and a lack of management buy-in. That’s why change management is such an important business tool, even in times of aggressive growth.
Rapid growth looks different for every business
Rapid growth is very specific and unique to every business and organization. For example, the rapid growth of a nonprofit organization looks very different from the rapid growth of a for-profit corporation. Just as the rapid growth of a startup is different from the rapid growth of an established company. For a startup, a 20% increase in a year can be huge, while for an established company, a 2% increase is impressive.
To understand when change management is required in the context of aggressive growth, you must first define what rapid growth in your organization looks like. Once defined and achieved, celebrate. Growth is an amazing achievement that should be shared company-wide. Make sure employees feel included, their contributions are recognized, and you communicate to them what this means for change. Be prepared to answer the question, “How does this affect me?”
Rapid growth can lead to the following changes, which need to be managed across the organization:
- Expand into other areas or open new offices
- Become a market leader
- Hire more employees to meet growing demand for a product or service
- Change job roles to accommodate growth and new expectations
- Expand to new customer groups
- cultural change
- Potential employee burnout
Leading people through positive change
Change management is defined as: “The application of a structured set of processes and tools to guide people through change to achieve desired outcomes.” However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution or standard framework that can be repeated across businesses. It is part of organizational behavior, and processes must be tailored to each entity based on its size, type, location, and platforms available to communicate change.
The communication aspect of the change management process is critical, but as is the case with rapid growth, it is also unique to the organization and company culture, including how you communicate, what you communicate, what you share, and how transparent you are with your employees . Like most business processes, someone has to be responsible for change management and communicating a consistent message. This could be the CEO, CFO or CMO and then further delegate to the entire team. Those leading the process must be prepared to talk about the changes that are taking place and help those along the way to develop clear goals, responsibilities, and responsibilities to achieve those goals driven through the organization.
Ultimately, especially in positive growth situations that have reason to celebrate, you must make the message personal to your team, your leadership, and everyone, whether they’re the ones answering the call or making the superior-company most strategic decisions. Information must be relevant so that employees can embrace change with you and move forward with a positive and clear perspective. You want to take people for a ride, but also push them to be the best they can be. Leverage technology, especially the platforms you currently have, but understand that email, text, DM, and other forms of digital communication cannot replace the people who are present during times of rapid growth and change.
Too often, companies hype, announce growth, and then go silent. Keeping people informed along the way prepares them and avoids being caught off guard.
Measuring Change Management Results
Change can cause huge fluctuations in the business and affect the culture of the company. The impact of change really depends on your ability to measure employee engagement on a regular basis, not just during periods of rapid growth or when something isn’t working.
When implementing any type of change management framework, a feedback mechanism is required. You can use formal feedback forms and quizzes. Or you can have casual conversations with employees. Ask about their work and how they would describe the company and growth to family and friends. Are they going to convey to other people the message you’ve been trying to convey to them?
When going through a period of exponential growth, companies are sometimes so engrossed in excitement that they often lose sight of what got them there in the first place. Always take the time to stop and reflect and keep these growth factors in motion.