For organisational change to be successful, it requires employees and management to cooperate effectively. The key to that cooperation is communication. For employees to engage with the change process, they must understand it. Leaders need to explain what is driving change, what specifically will change, how change will take place, and the goal of the change process. In order to do that, there are nine things you need to consider.
- Remember, Talking About Change Isn’t Easy – Change is uncomfortable and can be scary, especially if employees have concerns that change will impact their jobs. Change communication won’t be easy, but it is necessary because information allows employees to support and contribute to the change. Always be mindful of your employees’ potential fears when discussing the change process.
- Have a Good Reason – Leaders and managers should have a clear understanding of why change is necessary and be prepared to explain it to employees. When change is necessary for the overall success of the company, it can sometimes be difficult for employees to see the big picture. Help them understand why organisational change is necessary and how it will benefit both company and employees.
- Prepare Managers for Questions – Employees will have questions, and managers must be ready with the right answers. Employees feel more comfortable talking to managers with whom they have direct daily contact. Ensure management understand the need for change and are prepared to answer questions.
- Rumor Control – Managers should be on the alert for rumors surrounding the change process. Open, honest communication will help reduce the risk of rumors harming the process. When employees get their information through the grapevine, they tend to jump to conclusions. Keep employees informed and updated to keep them on-board.
- Share Information Quickly – Delayed information runs the risk of becoming hearsay, causing employees to lose confidence. Tell employees what is happening as soon as possible. Make sure employees hear about organisational changes from the proper source first.
- Use a Variety of Communication Tools – Multiple methods of communication will ensure everyone is informed regardless of the medium they use most often to communicate. Redundancy and repetition are important for effective communication. Email, letters, memos, writing, videos, and training are all important, but don’t forget face-to-face communication. If employees hear announcements straight from the CEO, they are more likely to feel valued and directly involved in the change process.
- Ensure Communication Flows Both Ways with Employee Feedback – Employee feedback is critical to the success of any business for many reasons, but especially when it comes to organisational change. When employees are given the opportunity to share thoughts, opinions, and express concerns, they are more likely to support the change process.
- Collect Feedback and Report On It – Use your company intranet or newsletter to share employee feedback. It addresses questions and concerns shared by others, while demonstrating the company is committed to employees through honesty and transparency.
- Measure Results and Share Success – celebrate the benchmarks in the change process. Keep employees engaged and excited by communicating their success.
Employees are critical in the process of organisational change. Without their cooperation, that change would be impossible. Effective communication makes organisational change smoother, faster and better for the whole business.
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