A Change is Coming!

Hold on, we can make it if we try!

By: Dr. Valerie D.W. James

May 1, 2020

Hold on, we can make it if we try!

Has this pandemic crisis made you look at your work or business differently? Soon, we will be embracing this so-called “new normal” that we keep hearing about. Whether your business is deemed essential or non-essential, you were forced to do something differently: we all had to make rapid decisions on how to manage people, workflows, and create a high-level business plan to adjust. Strategic goals and objectives have changed, the number of customers and patient visits, daily deliveries, working from home, shifting work schedules, and safety standards have all changed.


We DON’T know what it will look like, but what we do know is that the “new normal” is MASSIVELY going to change our lives, personally and professionally. Although change is inevitable, I believe that we can offset some of it by thinking outside the box… not just thinking outside the box, working together to ensure the box isn’t even part of the picture! We need to find ways to maximize efficiency and lead ever more brilliantly.

Nobody can rely on what worked before...   So now is the time to recharge, reengage, and thrive by gaining a lot of clarity and also, to slow down and address all the things you may have put on the back burner because when things were as per usual... we had no time and no bandwidth to get it done to prepare for an awesome start.


When a person considers change, they either have a negative or a positive outlook of how the change will impact the company. Consider these three simple ideas to overcome resistance to change in your organization.

1. Create a well thought-out plan.

  • Redesign the workspace to accommodate 10 or fewer employees in a common
    area or minimize the number of people in the office at one time
  • For workgroups that are used to having access to team members in real time,
    create virtual weekly huddles
  • Display posters with CDC guidelines in addition to those with LARGE print
  • Post processes for customers or patients with small children to ensure safety and
    avoid frequent pass of people
  • Check-in process for customers and patients
  • Use AIDET®:
                  •Acknowledge and greet someone with a nod or their name
                  •Introduce yourself
                  •Duration: give an estimate of the duration of the interaction and any
                    further interactions that may occur
                  •Explanation: make sure to explain step-by-step what to expect and ways
                    to follow up with you or someone else within the organization
                  •Thank: thank the client or patient for choosing your organization or
                    healthcare service and for their cooperation with any new policies
  • Develop check-in policies and procedures for front desk for employees and
    visitors

2. Transparency and communication are important to your staff and clients when your company is experiencing a major change. The communication strategy should include a timeline for how the change will be incrementally communicated, target audience, key messages, and instructions. For example, here’s a couple of ways to embrace the changes happening in your company using Kotter’s 8 Step change model to serve as a successful roadmap to operationalize any of your organization’s initiatives.

  • STEP 1 Establish a sense of urgency: Share why it is important to initiate the change.
    For Example, to provide safety, infection control, and quality assurance for you and the
    customers or patients.
  • STEP 2 Create the Guiding Team: Select someone from a cross sector of your
    organization and rank to be a part of the planning to increase enrollment, engagement,
    and accountability.
  • STEP 3 Develop a vision and strategy: A successful re-opening will include what type
    of support structure will be provided (Training, Standard Operating Procedures) to build
    proficiency of behaviors and technical skills needed to achieve desired business results.
  • STEP 4 Communicate the vision and strategy: Designate and set up the
    communication channels and mediums you plan to use before the reopen. This creates
    a greater level of accountability, honesty, and trust and it makes your staff and clients
    feel as though they are a part of the change.
  • STEP 5 Empower a broad base of people to take action: The ideals you generate
    from a diverse group of employees could be groundbreaking and increase the likelihood
    of success and greater accountability.
  • STEP 6 Generate short wins: For example, planning a welcome meeting that is
    celebratory but includes proper social distancing as an example will ensure safety while
    being interactive and motivational could give a sense of trust and also become useful.
    Things to do at this meeting could include new skills people may have learned during
    quarantine and hearing how others have been coping with changes.
  • STEP 7 Consolidate gains and produce even more change: Acknowledge the short-
    term wins and build on them, and always remain positive and supportive.
  • STEP 8 Institutionalize new approaches in the organizational culture: Make
    changes easily accessible, post and document new processes, and provide training on
    new policies.

An open line of communication is a good strategy that can change the atmosphere and the performance of your employees; open communication builds a great rapport with your clients and this can easily lead to new clients, thus creating more revenue for your company. Nevertheless, communication requires two-way interaction, top-down and bottom-up, throughout the organization. Employees should be able to build a connection with you as the leader so that if concerns or ideas arise, there is no barrier and these thoughts can be freely expressed. You must build an effective communication process with the team.


3.Decipher your resources and time: When big changes occur within an organization, they usually come with a price tag. In order to efficiently pay for this cost, learn what potential resources may be available to the organization. Making sure that if you have partners to collaborate with, they have access to non-sensitive details of your plan. Providing them with a well-detailed plan saves you time in trying to explain the change. Most partners and investors would rather have solid evidence. Make sure you also underline how your resources would benefit from providing support.


In the end, when you are considering a change in your business, make sure that the plan for change has been completely conceived. Address the potential obstacles before execution takes shape. Once these obstacles have been fully addressed, create a two-way interactive communication system so that all thoughts and suggestions are evident.


Lastly, attached to the link above, you will find access to my post COVID-19 Organizational Re-Alignment Checklist that I have been developing for clients to prepare for getting back into the swing of things. I wanted to share these with you as well. The list is meant to be as comprehensive as possible, so not everything may apply directly to your situation.
Happy to Help!

And in the words of “Sounds of Blackness - Hold On (Change Is Comin) You can Make it.”

Your mission is possible! Stay safe!

        

     

A Change is Coming! Hold on, we can make it if we try!

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