Managing and Communicating Change in EMEA and Beyond

Managing and communicating change in the workplace can be challenging. Just ask any of your colleagues who’ve had to communicate that there is a new corporate direction, or send messaging discussing the role of the new C suite executive.

While the idea of change can have a positive impact on your employees, change itself isn’t always as highly regarded. To evidence this, in a recent survey conducted by H&H in 2017, as many as 77% of employees supported the idea of change, but only 18% remained positive after the change had occurred.

Why is this? For most of us, routine can be a good thing as that routine allows us to go to work on a schedule, and be able to communicate to our own personal networks things like when we’ll be home for dinner. But upset that routine, and all of a sudden there is a cascade effect that people worry will impact everything from their office life right on down to the amount of time they get to spend at home.  

Of course, as we all know, change is often inevitable. What might be good in terms of status quo for your employees, may not in fact be good for the bottom line.

The recession of 2008 caused significant change for companies across the world. Hands up if you were affected–whether through the loss of your job, the reduction of your commissions, or simply the closing of your firm.

Some companies (like SAS) were able to build confidence in their employees by communicating what was happening, and learning how that significant change could impact their people.  By putting the needs of their employees first, SAS gained internal trust and weathered the storm .  Of course we aren’t all of SAS’s size or resources, but there are lessons that we can learn from what they did in order to manage and communicate change in the workplace.  

Even so, there is one key difference between 2018 and 2008 that we do have to account for — information today travels much faster than it did 10 years ago. As a result, we have to be both more efficient and effective in terms of communicating the right messaging around change, to ensure that the change does not have an immediate, negative impact on our organization. Fortunately with the growth of enterprise video technology, we can deliver pertinent and powerful messaging that ensures our people are getting the right messaging at the right time.

Here are four steps you can easily follow that will allow you to better communicate and manage change in your organisation.

  1. Articulate your vision. Being transparent about the change that is taking place and why it’s beneficial for the business and your people is very important. Using video to deliver this messaging will allow you to be much more expressive through facial/visual cues than a simple email ever could be. Your video can be used to support things like flexible work hours, the introduction of new products, or  the communication of a merger. 
  2. Communicate often. Communication isn’t a one time event; it’s an ongoing process. Today’s video technology will allow you to quickly and easily create content that is easily shareable across all platforms and accessible anytime and anywhere. Making videos available all the time/regularly ensures that your people are always up to speed on what’s going on when change occurs. 
  3. Converse with your people. When you’re addressing your people about pending change, it’s not an audience with the queen. Speak to your people in a more relaxed, casual manner so that they all are comfortable with you. And don’t forget, if you have people in other locations that don’t have the same first language as your own, be sure to provide them with a voice-over or transcript later. 
  4. Make it two-way communication. Modern video technology allows you to include things like polls, Q&A surveys, and other two-way solutions. By taking advantage of these features you are not only ensuring that your change message is getting to your people, you are also giving them an immediate ability to ask questions and comment, and therefore completely understand what the message is all about.

We can’t escape change, but we can find ways to improve how we manage it within the workplace. And the better equipped organizations are to manage change, the more likely they are to come out on top.

 

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