Change is unavoidable in modern businesses. Change within organizations and markets can be driven by a number of factors, such as technological innovation, a changing legal environment, or evolving consumer tastes. Small business owners must be aware of the pros and cons of change in business in order to maximize the effectiveness of their change management skills.
The effect of change on a company's productivity is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, changes can bring about drastic improvements in employee productivity. Installing a new point-of-sale (POS) order entry terminal in a retail chain, for example, could help to reduce the time customers spend in line while cutting back on costly employee errors. On the other hand, serious work flow slowdowns or stoppages can occur if any problems arise during the implementation of a change. Employee productivity is likely to plummet for a time as employees involved in the change become accustomed to the ways in which their jobs are affected. While the new POS system in the earlier example may be designed to reduce line-time, lines are likely to be longer for a few weeks as employees familiarize themselves with the new technology.
According to topbits.com, it is important to garner buy-in from managers and front line employees in order to maximize the effectiveness of the change and the change process itself. Unfortunately this is not always easy to achieve. While some people in your organization are likely to welcome the change, most times there are at least a handful of key employees who will resist it. In this way, change can increase the productivity and satisfaction of some employees, while reducing the productivity and satisfaction of others. Change resistors can spread doubt and fear among other employees.