Change is a constant for organizations as they strive to remain flexible and agile in a competitive business environment. Helping employees deal with change will always be a challenge for employers to contend with. Human nature trends towards resisting change. That which threatens the safety and security of routine can be frightening and even cause resentment and lead to poor morale. So, how can you communicate change to your employees—the right way?
Changes that are perceived as negative such as major shifts in benefit plan offerings or pay structures are sure to create tension for employees. Providing additional options or alternatives to employees is a good strategy versus dumping the news and going about your day. Give employees time to digest the information; and, provide an avenue for asking questions. Answer questions in a timely fashion and be supportive. If the change is drastic, consider putting together an internal communication plan that takes into consideration all elements to the potential fallout.
Share the facts and the figures with your employees. If current financial or governmental conditions demand changes that affect employees, show them how the decision will benefit the organization and benefit them in the long run as well. (Like, how the proposed DOL overtime changes could mean they actually get paid for their overtime). Show them the possible repercussions of remaining stagnant. Employees are more likely to support change if they feel there is not only an open door policy- but changes (and the reasons for them) are transparent.
Managers should walk the talk. Have managers embrace the changing climate and work with their individual teams in understanding the impact. Employees in smaller teams will feel more comfortable sharing their ideas. Managers should encourage employees to contribute to the changing conditions and to help shape the changing culture that change creates. Help employees feel a new sense of purpose.
Ask employees for their commitment. Just like you ask a prospect for their business, let your employees know that you are not only looking for their buy-in, you are counting on it. As a team, riding the waves is best done in a unified fashion. Let them know, “We are in this together.”
Be firm but positive. Once your business has made a decision and acted upon it, it’s typically not negotiable. Make it clear that although the door to communication will always remain open, and alternative options are on the table, the change is complete. Remain positive and look forward, not back. Positivity is contagious. Help your culture adapt by infusing positivity into the future.
Change can cause a lot of disruption in the work place, but when you keep your employees in the loop, they will feel appreciated and maybe even excited about the change.
Delivering bad news to your employees is never easy. But it can be hard to find time to come up with an internal communication plan for delivering the news, when your burdened by endless administrative tasks. EPAY’s human capital management system takes the weight off of your HR department, so you can focus on what's most important—your people. Schedule a personalized demo today!