Why Business Change Is Important (With Implementation Steps)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published November 6, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Businesses generally implement various plans to grow and thrive in competitive industries. While it's important to continue with these plans, making informed changes can help them reach defined goals. Whether you lead or work as part of a team, understanding why business changes are important can help convince you to make or recommend them. In this article, we explain why business change is important, discuss implementing changes, and share helpful tips you can use.
Why business change is important
Learning why business change is important is often the first step toward implementing it successfully. This change occurs when a business improves, restructures, or transforms its operations, impacting systems, people, and processes. Here are various reasons this decision may occur:
Helps meet customer needs
Customers generally have evolving needs, and many businesses implement changes to meet these demands. This way, they can remain competitive. For example, many customers who were happy to buy hard copies of their favourite movies now prefer to watch them online. In this case, movie-production businesses changed from physical delivering and selling copies in local stores to curating a library of online movies.
Enables adjustments to the global economy
Effective changes might be necessary to enable businesses to adapt to the economy. For example, economic growth often leads to more demand for products and services. If businesses change their operational structure by hiring more professionals or purchasing new facilities, they can enjoy economic growth. Similarly, economic issues such as inflation can lead to businesses making more challenging adjustments to thrive.
Helps businesses adapt to technology
As the technology community increases, more developments now offer opportunities for businesses to improve their efficiency. Implementing effective changes can help these businesses adjust to new technology. For example, suppose market research shows that clothing companies might use augmented reality to allow potential customers to try items on in the future. A retailer might restructure its operations to include a technology department based on this research finding.
Offers opportunities for growth
Making informed changes can enable business leaders and teammates to learn new skills and explore opportunities. It can also encourage innovation and ensure a business retains its competitive advantage. For example, suppose a business switches from manually tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) to using digital tools. This change can motivate employees to improve their technology skills, ensuring the business remains an industry leader.
How to implement business change
Here's an eight-step process you can follow if you're ready to make or lead business changes:
1. Identify the change
You can start by identifying the necessary change and confirming that it aligns with all business's goals. For example, suppose a business aims to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. It can change its operations from building natural gas vehicles to electric cars. Once you identify the change, consider performing an impact assessment to understand how it might affect all organizational levels. Doing this can offer insights into which professionals might experience the greatest impact and those who may need additional support or training.
2. Develop a plan
After the preparation stage, you can determine how to implement the required change. Consider creating a plan that guides you through achieving goals and measuring successful changes. Depending on the change, you may also create a plan outlining how to support all professionals through the transition. For example, you may facilitate mentorship programs, develop cross-training plans, and encourage questions from participants.
3. Communicate the change to team members
Next, you can develop a strategy to communicate the required change to all interested parties. Consider outlining your message, identifying your audience, and determining how to deliver the required information. For example, suppose a business wants to merge with another company. It can send a memo to all employees, discussing when they can expect the change to occur and how to handle the transition.
4. Discuss reasons for the change
Providing reasons for business change can help you gain the support of other teammates. Achieving this often requires you to present data that supports the transition. For example, suppose a business wants to change from mechanical methods to automated techniques. Its leaders can share data on how automation impacts business goals, budget plans, and productivity. Affected professionals can better understand the change and take part in it.
5. Seek feedback
After communicating business changes, you can offer the opportunity to provide feedback, including constructive criticism. Consider organizing feedback sessions or sending anonymous surveys. This way, you can understand how impacted professionals feel and determine whether to make changes to your plans. Encouraging everyone to express their opinions can create a more positive culture. New team members can also provide feedback because they can identify overlooked opportunities for improvement.
6. Initiate the change
Next, you can implement the change in stages and outline a timeline for each phase. For example, suppose you want to change from manually tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) to using software applications. You can implement this change by training professionals and then acquiring gadgets for independent use. Depending on the available time, you can consider starting a pilot program. A pilot program is a short-term experiment that can help a business learn how a large-scale project might work.
7. Monitor all outcomes
Consider tracking how everyone adapts to business changes to determine whether to provide valuable feedback. For example, suppose you want to switch from manual to cloud storage. You can monitor how data professionals transfer files to determine whether they follow outlined standards and reiterate the standard procedure.
8. Evaluate and sustain the change
After implementing business changes, you can evaluate whether they meet previously established goals. Consider assessing the outcome based on defined guidelines for measuring success. Here are questions you might ask to evaluate the transition's effectiveness:
What was the reason for this business change?
Which business areas improved after implementing this change?
How can the business sustain this change?
What challenges did you experience while implementing this change?
What internal and external factors can affect sustained changes?
What activities do you expect to do differently if implementing these changes again?
Tips for implementing business changes
The following practices can help you make effective business changes:
Seek management and stakeholder support
If you work in a supervisory or middle management role, consider discussing your intended changes with upper management and stakeholders. These managers can help you better communicate your plans to other team members. They might also offer resources or valuable insights into implementing changes.
Create a culture of change
Creating an environment that encourages positive changes can help your implementation efforts. For example, many organizations prefer working with adaptable professionals. Flexible managers who show enthusiasm for transitions and change management can also be an asset to a business.
Encourage open communication
Open communication occurs when all parties can freely express their ideas. To sustain business changes, consider continuing your strategies to receive feedback and constructive criticism. Doing this can show everyone that the business values and respects their opinions.
Consult with an experienced change manager
A change manager is an individual responsible for planning, developing, delivering, and tracking business changes. Connecting with an experienced change manager can help you gain valuable advice to implement. For example, they might recommend change management models and strategies you can use. You can connect with change managers by joining professional organizations and attending networking events. An experienced change agent who influences and leads changes can also support your plans.
After implementing changes, you can create a more positive environment by celebrating achievements. Team members who receive recognition for making necessary changes often feel more motivated. For example, suppose a business makes changes to adopt a market culture. In this case, you can celebrate individuals who led the transition. Businesses with a market culture complete tasks quickly and efficiently, using competition as their motivation.
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