What To Do When Change Is At The Door

Jan. 12, 2017

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post saying goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. In the blog I touched on the fact that our industry saw a lot of acquisitions last year (and already this year we have seen a few). Whether it’s an acquisition, a transition in management, an addition of new services or something else entirely, change can be difficult for everyone involved. 

The glimmer of hope, however, is that companies cannot evolve without change. When change is at your door, the worst thing to do is ignore or fight it. Here are three ways I’ve seen companies embrace change: 

Let employees and clients know early on 

Each time I speak with an operator about investing and installing in new technology, I like to ask them how their employees responded. Most of the time, their answer mirrors this: “Well, there was a lot of employee backlash and many quit.” The operator goes on to talk about how they wish they would have handled the change differently. When you know you’ll be going through a new process - especially one that is going to affect employees - discuss the change with them as far in advance as possible. Help them buy into the change before it’s on your doorstep. 

Spread the message via a press release 

If you have an even bigger change, such as new management or a company-wide name change, make sure you send out a press release so that your peers across the country will know. It’s not a great change if no one knows your new brand name. An easy way to do this is to contact [email protected] directly. We not only can help craft your press release if you’d like, but we also send our news out daily, meaning that your information will get to readers in a timely manner. 

Use social media to navigate responses 

Just this week I witnessed a really cool way an organization was handling a big change. The SCAE and the SCAA announced earlier this week that they unified to make one cohesive organization, Specialty Coffee Association. That’s a huge change. With that change came a new logo. On the new group’s Facebook page, they were getting negative comments from some people about the new logo design. Rather than ignore the comments, a moderator from the association was responding to comments quickly and professionally, letting members know that they appreciate any feedback and that they will consider all of it moving forward. I thought it was a great way to respond to a tough change. 

Change at VendingMarketWatch.com 

For more than three years I have had the wonderful opportunity to learn and write about the vending industry.  When I came onboard, micro markets were just getting wind under their sails and gourmet coffee was growing as a demand at workplaces. While this is a great industry with a lot of growth ahead, other professional pursuits led me to accept a position with another magazine at our parent company, Southcomm. Change is never easy and while I’m sad to be stepping away from my daily work writing about vending, I’m excited to take on a new role within the law enforcement industry. I have had the opportunity over the last three years to meet many amazing operators and work with a fun group of people here at Automatic Merchandiser and VendingMarketWatch.com. The magazine and daily content appearing in your mailboxes will not change; it will still be full of timely and relevant news to help your company. It will continue to be your #1 news source for all things vending, micro markets and office coffee service.

About the Author

Adrienne Klein | Contributing Editor

Adrienne Zimmer Klein is a freelance writer with a background in the vending, micro market and office coffee service industry. She worked at Automatic Merchandiser and VendingMarketWatch.com from 2013 until February of 2017.