How to Motivate and Encourage Business Change - dummies

How to Motivate and Encourage Business Change

By Christina Tangora Schlachter, Terry H. Hildebrandt, MA, MA, PCC

The status quo is never a catalyst to change. Now is the time to remind your employees to leave the status quo and move to this wonderful new future. Here are some ways you can start challenging the existing situation and communicating why it’s so important to “say no to the status quo”:

  • Be the devil’s advocate with a purpose: Know the worst that could happen if you don’t change, and be the spokesperson of those fears. What is the worst that can happen if you stay where you are? Could the market for your product or service go away? Could another company take over greater market share?

    All these possibilities are compelling reasons to move away from where you are today and can motivate your employees.

  • Know what everyone else is doing: Be able to tell your employees why your company is changing to align with the competition or differentiate from the competition. Has the rest of your competition begun moving away from the same-old-same-old?

    You don’t need to jump off a bridge because everyone else is doing it, but if you notice you’re diverging from the pack, it may be a good time to reevaluate where you’re going and why. Benchmarking is a helpful way to gather this information.

  • Keep up with customers who want something new: Communicate to your employees that having customers isn’t the same thing as keeping them. Even if your customers love you and your product, at some point in time, they will want to try something new. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give that new something to them?

  • Deal with other external factors: Explain how regulatory change, pricing pressures driven by the market, or other external factors are driving you to change. Some changes are thrust upon us by the government or the global economy. Change may be required to meet the requirements of new laws.

  • Change in order to keep moving (even if everything seems great right now): Convey to your employees that even if nothing is broken, you need to “fix” things to stay ahead. This point is a tricky one but important to communicate. Many people who will be changing created the status quo in the first place (and like it quite well, thank you very much).

    Your role is to acknowledge how the status quo has served its purpose and how now is the time to move on and move up!

Take it from the experts; many people can’t bear to give up the status quo, because they think the fact that it worked in the past means it shouldn’t change. Even if a process or product did not work in the past, you’ll come into contract with a handful of people that won’t admit it.

By communicating the need to abandon the status quo and telling employees what’s in it for them, you can offer a reason to change that’s more compelling than their natural attachment to the status quo.