08 May How To Communicate Change In Your Organization (Video)
I received an emergency phone call from a client one evening around 9:00.
His employees were up in arms!
It seems he sent a company-wide email detailing some new organizational changes and it didn’t go over as he expected.
In today’s video, I’m going to talk about the secrets of communicating change.
So I got a 911 call from a client of mine at about nine o’clock one night and he said, “Okay, look, I sent this email out and I need to you to talk to me about this because I think you’re gonna have to come in tomorrow.”
The email was to announce our new organization. It should’ve been so simple. I wanted everybody to have all the information and when I sent it out, I sent it out at four o’clock. And everybody is goin’ nuts. You should see everything that I’m getting in email, in phone calls, in texts. It’s ridiculous.
So I started asking him some questions about this surprise email (that I didn’t even know about) and what I learned was he emailed an organization chart to all of the company, the entire company. Many locations.
When he did, the funny part was, there’s this brand new layer in that organizational chart. That brand new layer reports to him.
So when I started asking him questions and I said, “So there’s this brand new layer made up of anybody that was one of your existing employees?”
“Hmm, No, we decided we need to bring fresh blood in so we have all new people from the outside. With, oh, their experience is fabulous. And so that’s why we did that.”
“Did anybody have any inkling of this?”
“No, we thought we would just spring ’em all at once.”
So what’s really interesting about this group is this is a very, very family-oriented organization and he was shocked that people were so up in arms.
It’s like your dad just said, “Hey, here’s a big deal right now, but we’re gonna bring in a new wife and maybe some new kids and everything else, and you’re gonna be just fine!”
I mean, these people were livid!
So the most fun part of the whole thing was he said, “Yeah I don’t really understand why they don’t like change. Change is fun. Everybody should like change.”
So I’m going to talk to you about how you communicate change and make it work.
There are two different people your employees want to hear from when change comes.
The first person they want to hear from is their CEO or the very top person in the organization.
What they want to know from them is tell me what we’re doing differently. Tell me why we’re doing it and how it’s helping the organization.
The second person they want to hear from is their direct supervisor.
Because what they want to know there is how is this affecting me? What about my job? I mean, am I gonna be downsized? Is somebody gonna replace me? Am I gonna have more work to do? What’s really happening?
So if you can explain those things to them, you can also talk about the benefits of these changes and what these changes are going to do for them.
Those two pieces are incredibly critical.
Whenever you’re communicating that information, what we believe a lot of times is “Hey, I told him about it, so I’m done.”
Actually, people need to hear information five to seven times in order to really get it, to absorb it, and that means hearing it five to seven times in different ways.
Be creative about it. It’s not five emails. It might be a town hall meeting. It might be making sure that you have a whole group in the department together talking about it. It might be an email. It might be a video.
There are a lot of ways that you can explain things because people do not hear what you want them to listen to the first time more than likely.
And every time you have the opportunity to give them a message, you can make sure you’re putting the benefits in there.
Why are we doing this? What is this doing for our organization?
So think about it the next time you’re communicating any message that is going to be received as, “I don’t really like this,” and decide, am I gonna give it to them five to seven times?
How am I going to communicate that?
Am I giving them the right information?
Are the right people communicating it?
If you can do these things, you can guarantee that your changes are gonna be much more successfully communicated and much more easy to accept.
If you have a topic that you’d like us to discuss, please send me an email or comment on LinkedIn.