Employees are often unwilling to embrace new ideas. This presents a challenge to the owner who wishes to improve his small business. If employees will not make changes in their behavior, improvements are very difficult.
The key to overcoming fear of change is to create an incentive for employees. While money is not the only incentive, it is usually a powerful motivator. If the desired changes will result in increased profits, a bonus system to share those additional profits with employees can help them overcome their fears.
Enlisting employees in the entire process is perhaps the most effective measure that an owner can take. When an owner acts like a benevolent dictator and imposes change on the employees, they often resist. However, if the employees are involved in the process of identifying and planning the needed changes, they are much more likely to “buy in”.
Involving employees can begin by simply asking them what improvements they would like to see. This will do several things: you will be seen as more approachable and caring, employees will feel more appreciated, and you will create a more team like atmosphere.
Owners typically embrace change much more readily than employees. Consequently, the owner must address the concerns and fears of his employees. He must help them see the benefits of new ideas. If he can make them willing participants the changes will be far more effective.
At the same time, he must set realistic expectations regarding the speed and extent of change. In this regard, slow but steady change is ultimately more effective than rapid change that is quickly abandoned.
Employees are a part of your team. If you want them to perform at their best, help them help you. If you work together, not only on the floor or in the factory, but in the “board room” as well they will be much more willing to help you build the business you want to own.