The challenges businesses need to address in changing times.
Timing and taking the initiative can be everything when running a business, and it is important to maintain momentum by making strategic decisions and implementing changes when required, bolstering your day-to-day operations and working ahead on creating a clear path to growth. Businesses may actively seek to alter their structure and operations, or may have change thrust upon them, and flexibility is often a key component in successfully dealing with a combination of internal and external factors. Of course, workshops might have to navigate a range of short and long-term challenges, from staffing issues and skills shortages, through to equipment investments and the adoption of new technologies, underpinning efficient and effective operations.
CHANGE AND CHALLENGES FOR INDUSTRY
As this year in particular has shown, the unexpected can happen, and for this reason it is important to plan ahead, ensuring that a strong business foundation is in place, while also being prepared to adapt when required. Of course, each business is unique, and it is important to carefully consider the range of individual factors impacting your business in determining the best path forward.
Some of the main challenges, and drivers for business change, faced by those in the industry include:
• Health and safety – is a critical issue for industry, with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing about a range of additional considerations
• Equipment investment – knowing when to invest and ensuring you get the best deal for your business
• Technology adoption – different facets of business operations continue to go digital, from administration to advertising, providing efficiency gains
• Skills shortages – finding and then holding on to appropriately skilled employees presents an ongoing challenge for industry
Across each of these different areas, businesses can take steps to bolster their operations, and it is important to adopt a forward-looking outlook. For instance, creating a workplace with a degree of staff flexibility, in which a clear career path is laid out for employees, is important, while a strong health and safety culture can facilitate trust and contribute to a productive working environment. Meanwhile, it is important to clearly establish your business needs and capabilities when investing in equipment, consulting with financial professionals when required, and to consider how digital technologies can be incorporated across, and streamline, your operations.
METHODS FOR MANAGING CHANGE
The business.gov.au website describes change as being “a normal and essential part of business”, with it being an important step for businesses to improve staff performance, enhance goods or services and to expand. As part of the process of creating an effective change management approach,
business.gov.au outlines the following
• A clear picture – starting with a clear picture of your desired outcome can help people understand the bigger picture, keeping in mind what they’re working towards
• A change management plan – writing down business changes can help business owners document and communicate their plan, encompassing: their desired outcome; the change’s reasons, benefits and aim; who will undertake necessary tasks; goals, targets and potential milestones
• Keep staff up to speed – proactive communication and engagement can help people understand and embrace the change, with it important to communicate openly and directly with employees, to make them aware of the change as soon as possible, and to involve staff and support them
• Change culture – promoting a culture of change, encouraging and recognising staff engagement, and continuing to look for ways to improve a business, can help staff become comfortable with change and adapt easier in the future.
Further information can be found at the business.gov.au website. ACM