Transformation is more than just a buzzword commonly used in today’s business world — it’s a necessity. To keep pace with the needs of customers, while also staying ahead of the competition, businesses need to successfully align their people, processes and technology to their strategy and vision. That can be an ongoing practice resulting in ongoing change.
Change can also be exciting for your team and a great time to attract the right people to your business — those who want to make a meaningful impact. True change seekers are comfortable juggling multiple assignments and working in complex and ambiguous situations. To help your business reach new heights, be ready and open to new points of view, versus reverting to the way things have always been done.
At Safelite, we’re implementing change in a way that doesn’t interfere with our strategies or conflict with our culture. We do it by empowering our associates to make decisions while letting them know that failure with learning is acceptable. We want our people to feel encouraged and supported, experience a great career and share their ideas. That builds trust, which in turn enables growth in all the right ways.
Here are six tips for times of transformation and change.
1. Communicate your strategy at the right time. Most companies sit on information too long, yet sharing information with your associates prematurely can lead to a loss of credibility and commitment to the plan.
2. Conduct a gap analysis to identify current and future talent needs. Close the gap with appropriate training and hiring of complementary skills. At Safelite, when we leverage contractors for specific projects that require specialized skills, our teams reap the benefit of learning new capabilities.
3. Think differently about succession planning. Where you thought you were heading and where you are going now may be different. Take a risk and invest in associates whom you feel can push the organization to the next level.
4. Involve your top talent. Let them help design the future and eliminate the red tape that inhibits their ability to think outside of their normal way of working. They’ll enjoy having a stake in the game.
5. Embrace talent not as pedigree and degree but as aptitude and attitude. Your ability to effectively deliver a complex transformation requires a diverse set of experiences, perspectives and expertise.
6. Introduce team members to a new way of working. Help associates understand how the change under way is connected to something bigger and better — providing a brighter future for them.
When your associates know you believe in them, they’ll be open to managing through the change. It will reduce fear and give them an eager desire to add value in new and stronger ways.
Finally, communicate transparently and provide candid feedback. Your associates will view transformation through a different lens. Soon, you’ll see that transformation isn’t a project, it’s your new way of working.
Renee Cacchillo is EVP, Customer Experience Officer at Safelite Group Inc., a multifaceted auto glass and claims management service organization founded in 1947. Renee is the architect of Safelite’s Customer Driven strategy, leads the company’s innovation efforts and is responsible for driving performance to further establish Safelite as a world-class service organization.