The Brightly side: 5 tips to navigate any significant change
If you were keeping up with us over the last year (or even if you weren’t, it was pretty busy for many of us), Brightly saw A LOT of change. From a full-brand makeover—including a new name—to joining the Siemens portfolio and more, we learned so much and did quite a bit of growing in 2022.
No matter where you sit in an organization, times of change can feel unsettling and uncertain. At the same time, new things often mean new opportunities. Luckily, we had a few simple philosophies to help guide our company through last year’s whirlwind, and today we’re sharing our secret sauce.
For anyone experiencing a time of change, we’ve curated our best industry-agnostic tips to help guide you through any transition.
1. Ask questions (or be prepared to answer them)
Curiosity is part of human nature—it’s how innovations happen, and inventions get, well, invented.
For organizations undergoing change, be it a merger or acquisition, transitions in leadership, implementation of new systems and tools, or reductions in workforce, chances are everyone will have a few things to ask.
At Brightly, we follow a three-prong approach to help prepare for questions:
- Establish context. Whether you’re leading the change or trying to understand it, the first thing to do is establish context. Why is this happening, what is the expected outcome, and what dates (when) do I need to expect changes?
- Designate a lead communicator. Employees, customers, and other parties will likely have questions that accompany change. Having a dedicated person or team responsible for answering any inquiries is helpful. By directing questions to one place, you can ensure that the responses are consistent, that relevant information is relayed to leadership, and that there is someone for people to connect with if they are uncertain about what to do.
- Be consistent and transparent. Whether you are worried about employees' reactions or reassuring your customers, it’s essential to have messaging that clearly delineates what is happening and what to expect.
2. Communication is art, and art is important!
Any change is part of your organization’s story, especially with what you share internally and externally. Effective communication can help your company manage change, reduce employee anxiety, and build trust and commitment to the organization's goals, as well as help foster a shared sense of purpose and vision for the future.
Use communication to update employees regularly about the change process and its impact on the organization. Remember to create a space for feedback and to address concerns; different communication channels, such as emails, town hall meetings, and video calls, can help reach employees at different levels.
Communication is critical during times of change, and much like a painted masterpiece, a few rough drafts first can’t hurt.
3. Keep a sense of humor
Organizations can use humor during times of change to help employees feel more relaxed, connected, and resilient. It can also be leveraged as a creative tool to generate new ideas or more engagingly and memorably communicate important messages. We’ve leaned into our new name and amidst changes, our team is always reminded to look on the Brightly side of things.
One important thing to remember, however, is that leaders should be careful not to use inappropriate or insensitive humor that may trivialize the seriousness of the situation or offend some employees. Though you may want to lighten the atmosphere, remember to remain sensitive to employees' cultural and individual differences to ensure that humor is appropriate for everyone.
4. Empathy can work wonders
Empathy is essential during a change to help your organization navigate the process. One way to do this is to actively listen to employees' concerns and feedback. Leaders and managers should give employees their undivided attention, acknowledge their feelings, and respond with empathy to build trust and reduce anxiety among employees.
It’s helpful to support employees who may be struggling with the change. Depending on your situation, this can take the form of counseling services, training programs, or other resources to help employees adapt to the new situation.
At Brightly, one of our favorite ways of tapping into empathy is through showing appreciation for (and celebrating) our teammates' hard work and dedication during *big* changes.
5. Encourage a culture of flexibility
There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of, “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans,” which rings true for times of change. Even if you have mapped out an entire transitional period, things will likely pop up that you could not anticipate.
By encouraging a culture of flexibility, leaders can help employees embrace new things and adapt more effectively to changing circumstances. Training programs, town hall meetings, and other forms of internal communication can help employees to understand the need for change and to develop a mindset that is more open to new ideas and approaches.
Times of change are also the perfect opportunity to try new things! By encouraging a culture of flexibility, you can also get people on board to use new technology or tools, do their jobs more efficiently or effectively, or even provide creative feedback with solutions to common challenges your organization might be facing.
You can always look to the Brightly side of change
From a new brand to the many employees and communities we interacted with, last year was one for the books. By infusing our culture with a little bit of humor, empathy, and communication, we find today that we are even more prepared to help our customers with some of their biggest challenges yet.
At Brightly, we help clients use their data to do a ton of things: save money, identify utility waste, prove funding requests, improve operational efficiency and more. With decades of experience, our team is ready to help you reach your maintenance and operations goals. Schedule a call with an expert today!