The reason I mention this is I've recently been working with a retailer and there have been a lot of changes happening, linked to the appointment of a new area manager. Many of these changes are reversing decisions made over the last two or three years. The effect this is having is that the longer term movers of the team are confused and frustrated as to why these reversals are taking place. As conscientious members of the team, they took in the reasons for the initial changes and worked hard towards ensuring that they educated teammates and customers in the new processes. The entire team understood the reasons given for the changes and got behind these reasons.
The reversal of changes, unfortunately with little explanation from the management team, looks like one of three things-
*the company has no long-term plan
*they have a long-term plan but it's not working
*the management team don't know the long-term plan
And it's the perceived hypocrisy that frustrates and annoys the workers.
Long-term planning is key to the structure of a business and it gives the guidelines for every other decision that the business makes. It's important to ask of every decision - does it fit into the long-term plan? The framework of the business revolves around the long-term strategic planning that takes place at the top of the organisation. These strategies look at the course of the organisation over the next 2 years and beyond. This, in turn, dictates the short-term decisions that affect the day-to-day and week-to-week running of the business and each of it's outlets.
For example, if you decide that the long-term plan is to have a great conversation with every customer then you will need to put things in place to make that happen. You will probably need more staff, a dedicated training programme and an area in your store where these conversations will happen. And you'll probably set off along the road to carry out these steps.
Now imagine, that you cut staff and remove the 'conversation area' from your store without communicating any reasons for the change. Your team would feel confused and at least a little lost as to what parts of their roles to continue and what parts to change.
And you can understand how the team members felt with the retailer I have been working with.