For entrepreneurial companies, disruption is inevitable either outwardly from technology or internally from growth. For many entrepreneurs, it's desirable, but that's not necessarily what employees desire. In fact, most employees crave stability and rhythm. And therein lies the challenge.
On a recent episode of my podcast, YPO's 10 Minute Tips From the Top, I interviewed Akshay Batra, managing director at Dr. Batra's Positive Health Clinic. He began with a single homeopathic clinic started by his father and has grown the company to more than 230 clinics across Dubai, India, and the United Kingdom.
Batra, a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), is also India's first trichologist (that's hair specialist) to be accepted into The Trichological Society of London.
He has been managing more than 2,500 employees, many of them doctors that he handpicked himself, through major transitional moments for the company and the industry. He revealed that one of the major challenges was helping older employees update their skills to remain relevant and effective through technological changes.
Here is Batra's simple advice for helping employees deal with disruption.
1. Ensure you have the right culture fit.
Most every employee is going to encounter a major shift or change in his or her company at some point. Skills must be relearned constantly, especially with fast-moving technology. The company will only thrive if employees are willing and eager to make those transitional shifts, despite the challenges. Batra "handpicks" the doctors working in his clinics to ensure they embrace a culture of change. This gives him the confidence that his team will adjust to whatever the future brings.
2. Be a presence.
Employees can easily feel overwhelmed by a rapid onslaught of change. Ambiguity at the top makes the situation worse. Batra explained that he makes his presence known to his employees as a way to keep them moving forward. "I lend myself to energize the team. In the healthcare system it is very important for everybody to be value driven, to understand the right direction, to make sure that the patients are kept at the top of everything we do," elaborated Batra. "And of course to keep them energized."
3. Embrace technology.
Ironically, the best way to get employees to remove fear and develop technological skills is through the use of technology. Batra utilizes as many means of technology as he can get his hands on for communication, initial training and retraining. Among his different formats were webinars, group chats, emails and podcasts. "They can be done very easily to reach out to people," he stated.
Each week on his podcast, Kevin has conversations with members of the (YPO), the world's premiere peer-to-peer organization for chief executives, eligible at age 45 or younger.