Change is difficult, especially when you have to consider the wants and needs of a whole organization rather than just one individual. There are many reasons why management can be reluctant to change. We’ve decided to unpack three common concerns that keep management from implementing or hearing out new ways to improve outdated workplace systems.
If you’re having difficulty expressing your thoughts on the matter, consider opening up a discussion with your teams and work through the statements below.
“Changing our systems will negatively impact our relationships with our clients.”
When things aren’t working for everybody, friction will stress the organization somewhere along the line- and your customers will notice. So it’s better to be transparent and honest with your audience about any internal or external restructures. You’re not the only business that survived the pandemic, so trust that your clients will be understanding and may find the change refreshing or relatable.
But when your high-rollers aren’t playing nice, discuss any system or contractual changes that will directly affect their business. Then, get specific about why and how these adjustments will improve their brand experience.
If you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, cutting off your arm may be the only solution (shoutout Aron Ralston). Some corporate relationships are keeping you from pursuing a healthier management system. It’s never too late to establish a new precedent. Any successful changes you make to your product, branding, or mission reflect onto your professional relationships, producing high-yielding clients. When a company focuses values on appreciation, gratitude, and recognition, both clients and employees feel secure during times of change.
“If a new system doesn’t work, our time and money will be wasted.”
News flash: time and money will be wasted regardless. More money may be squandered trying to push an outdated system onto a modern workplace. Stagnant workflow leads to missed deadlines, high turnover rates, and passionless projects.
To improve your chances of success, determine what, at its core, must change and build messaging around the shift that caters to each audience individually. Customers, employees, and partners will each need a tailored message to most adequately inform and transition expectations. Employees are more likely to contribute creative and innovative ideas when heard, respected, and acknowledged for their efforts.
What can be perceived as a failure is a rich lesson in moving forward. There is no growth without applying lessons learned first-hand, which often are born from failed attempts.
“I don’t have the power to make any changes on my own.”
No one said you had to do it alone! Developing a positive workplace begins with minor (not to be confused with “quick”)changes. While an organization may seek to change culture with a quick fix, focus on long-term improvements that boost the overall performance while keeping employee morale in mind. Encourage employees of all ranks to contribute. Actively listen with the intent to build a culture people are proud to be part of.
Encourage employees to get comfortable giving and receiving fist bumps and high-fives. Doing so takes some of the responsibility out of managers’ hands and delivers power directly to the workforce. Of course, upper management plays a huge role in developing and maintaining workplace culture. However, the bond between peers provides a different, more organic way to boost, engage, and promote leader-like behaviors throughout all departments.
“Accountability starts with clear performance standards that apply equally to everyone -- including leaders” (Gallup).
Respect for employees breeds mutual respect for leadership. When expectations are clearly defined and managers are held accountable, respect organically permeates work culture.
Do you experience any pushback when suggesting non-traditional ways to improve company systems? If so, we’d love to hear about it!