- Silent Selling
Managers versus Leaders
Good managers are leaders. Great leaders are innovators. When people are empowered to be innovative, their commitment increases; they have a chance to take new actions and be proud of their accomplishments.
Are you an innovator? Are you really committed to overcoming deeply rooted traditions and misconceptions regarding selling and customer acquisition? Are you prepared to go to the mat to support best practices around lifetime value? Are you willing to make the changes that will benefit the team? Think about it.
It may be a whole new way of looking at staffing or your team’s organizational structure, or a radical new idea for a guest experience, but challenge yourself to be a true leader. In being a leader you can make profound changes and not only be inspired but also inspire those around you. Be prepared for the negative attitudes when you want to create positive change.
Positive Change Management
Let’s face it. In most craft beverage businesses, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In a typical tasting or tap room, there are always issues that require change management – labor cuts, changes in organizational structure or management, team turnover, changes to goals, pay or commission structure, and so on.
How To Implement Change Effectively
Change requires skill and sensitivity. It’s tricky because simply imposing the new change doesn’t work; it assumes that people’s personal needs are completely aligned with the organization, or that there is no need for alignment. It also assumes people want the type of change the organization deems appropriate for them. The truth is change is only successful when employees actually engage and buy into it.
Here are 8 ideas to help engage your staff and generate involvement in order to manage positive change:
- Understand the Fear. Asking people to make significant behavioral changes usually creates fear. Human nature is to fear what is unknown. Underestimating the fear response and potential resistance is the most consistent mistake made by those introducing change.What is your team afraid of?
- Consider the Group’s Perspective. Approach the group from the team members’ perspective and understand what they have to lose – or gain.
- Build Trust. Concentrate on team building and open/honest communications. Authentic participation in the process, with many opportunities to raise issues of concern, will help keep a group open to the possibility of significant change. The goal is to build trust, but manage expectations and the process.
- Avoid Manipulating. Don’t pretend to listen to the group and consider their concerns, especially if you’ve already made your decision. If you can, invite staff to help figure out how to solve a challenge.
- Encourage Group Ownership. Employees who are involved in the planning will often suggest changes that improve the original plan because they’re the ones most affected. Employees are much more likely to support a new set of ideas which they have had a key role in shaping. You won’t win the lottery without buying a ticket. You won’t get buy in if you don’t have ownership.
- Actions vs. Words. Employees will burn out on changes that are announced but not successfully implemented. One well-executed change is worth far more than multiple failed new programs. Make a solid plan, get buy-in, implement it and make adjustments as needed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
- Reward New Behaviors Early. Don’t wait for things to change completely before providing rewards. Recognize employees for doing things right and reinforce any significant movement in the right direction.
- Manage the Myths and Realities. Don’t underestimate the power of myths and rumors! Address them promptly, directly and with understanding.
Work with your team and ensure everyone understands the changes and their role in it. Don’t get discouraged – there is a nay-sayer in every group, but these tools can help mitigate the pessimistic person in the crowd. Embrace the change and find a silver lining; remember, your attitude affects your team.
Be an innovator. Be committed to overcoming deeply rooted traditions and misconceptions in the craft beverage industry and make some changes! Effectively managing your team through these changes and challenges will be what sets you a part. What can you do today to become a great leader?
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