A recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) warned that it was likely that more than 200,000 of the small businesses across the country won’t be able to make it through the pandemic. Due to the resurgence of the virus and worsening conditions around the globe, it is highly possible that the pandemic might throw many people out of work. This number is synonymous with one in every six Canadian business owners. Surprisingly, this shocking number is in addition to the 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.
The Canadian Federation for Independent Businesses conducted a survey between 12 Jan 2021 and 16 Jan 2021 through an online questionnaire that they sent out to 4129 of its members. If the numbers are to be believed, it means more than 2.4 million people in the country are at the risk of losing their jobs, which constitutes about a whopping 20% of jobs in the private sector.
“Because it was just of CFIB members, the poll is not statistically randomized, but a properly randomized poll of that size would be considered accurate within 1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20,” writes CBC News Canada.
Simon Gaudreault, the Senior Director of National Research at CFIB said, “… it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses considering closing. We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,” he said in a statement. “The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.”
The Need of the Hour
Although Canadian business owners have shown immense resilience during this time, it is important to accept the reality and the change that it may come with. Therefore, change management becomes as important for small business owners as well. But first, what actually is change management?
Consulting firm Prosci describes it as “Change management addresses the people’s side of change. Creating a new organization, designing new work processes, and implementing new technologies may never see their full potential if you don’t bring your people along. That’s because financial success depends on how thoroughly individuals in the organization embrace the change.”
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Why Do You Need Change Management?
Well, one of the major benefits of change management is the increased likelihood of success. Small business owners have plenty of changes to worry about, including disruptive technologies and cybersecurity, new online competitors from around the world, and challenges finding and keeping good employees. Small businesses don’t implement organizational change management to the same extent as large multinationals. But when important changes happen, they can use basic change management strategies that apply to any size business.
- Communicate as soon as you can – Don’t hide details that matter because people already get a whiff of things happening around them. So, it’s always important to communicate.
- Give people what matters to them – Any employee will wish to know how a particular change will affect their jobs. Therefore, providing them with all the details that matter to them will not just help them in calming the nerves but also in accepting the change.
- Don’t Forget Mentioning the Benefits – In any change, a person looks at how the particular thing is of benefit to them. So, unless and until you communicate the benefits, how do you expect someone to get on board?
- Don’t Exaggerate – You are here to run a business and it needs a huge amount of work. In order to keep your employees happy, do not exaggerate the benefits of the change. Every fact that you put out should be correct and exact.
- Resources And Information – Smallbiztrends writes, “Change management programs need to be adequately resourced and effectively project managed in order to achieve their objectives. Resources include people, finance, facilities, IT, MI, and many other elements. Change fails when these things have not been considered and change is not prioritized effectively or given the commitment it requires.”
To Sum It Up
Change management is a slow and gradual process. It is definitely not easy and hence it needs an effective leader to communicate the details of this change to everyone. However, it is equally important for a small business leader to consider change management training especially to adapt to the current, unpredictable times. If you need more information about the same, you can subscribe to the CanadianSME Small Business magazine, the perfect place to clear all your doubts related to everything small business!