Change can bring about a stressful and difficult time for members of any organisation.
However, the situation can be greatly exacerbated if employees feel like they are being kept in the dark about matters affecting them.
Coming to work in the morning to find out your company has been sold or that one of your colleagues has been fired brings about uncertainty which can lead to chaos.
One study found that one half of all projects fail because of poor communication tactics.
To manage expectations and help your employees successfully deal with change, communication must be at the forefront of your mind during this period.
Here are 3 Ways Communication Is Important In Change Management:
Explains the Need for the Change
One source found that “70% of organisational change is not successful because of employee attitudes and management behavior.”
This is important to understand because implementing changes fails predominantly not because of external forces, but internal ones.
As such, managers must be open and honest about upcoming changes with their staff members.
In order to fight negative beliefs, a good strategy is explaining why the change needs to occur in the first place.
Your employees are likely comfortable with their day-to-day tasks and may not want to spend a week learning a new accounting system.
However, if you explain to them that it will cut their manual working time by 20%, they may be much more enthusiastic about learning it.
If you explain the benefits the change may bring, you will likely curtail resistance and smooth the way for effective change management.
Ask for Feedback
While you may have conceptualised the changes, your employees will be the ones implementing them and directly dealing with the after effects.
A clear line of communication will encourage your staffers to come to you with concerns about risks or suggestions for improvements to make the process smoother.
If you don’t ask your employees to communicate these things to you, you will risk finding out about issues too late and risking the entire project.
Fight the Naysayers
There will always be individuals who will greatly resist change and try to impose their opinions on others.
Instead of stifling them, encourage them to speak out.
If you allow them to air their frustrations and concerns in an open forum, you will then give yourself the opportunity to respond to their issues and show them, and more importantly, your other colleagues, the benefits of the change.
Senior Management Trainer and Consultant
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.