What are the best ways to communicate change to employees? In times of major change, adding a few communication channels can reduce their stress about the change and help keep engagement high. Here are five we often use with global companies going through some sort of transformation:
- Microsite: One of the absolute best change management communication channels is a free-standing microsite to give employees a go-to source for the most current and accurate information. Existing outside the firewall is helpful in acquisition situations when employees of the company to be acquired don’t yet have access to the company intranet. It’s also sometimes faster to develop a site using outside resources than asking an already overloaded IT department to turn on a dime.
- Q&A: Go beyond the usual prepared FAQs to allow employees to ask their own questions. There are several ways to do this, but two good ones are to offer the option to submit a question on the microsite (anonymously or not) or to provide an email address for questions directed at leadership. Either way, make sure you have a solid process in place for providing answers without a huge time lag. You don’t want employees to feel like their questions dropped into a black hole.
- Survey: Give employees a voice by posting a survey of questions related to the change. How are they feeling about the change? What concerns them about the change? What are they looking forward to? Not only does this give employees a chance to share their concerns, it also gives you important indications of issues that need to be addressed in subsequent communications.
- Road Show: Having the CEO or other leadership team members show up at locations throughout the organization can be exhausting — but the benefits may be worth it. If you need to inspire confidence, there’s no substitute for that face-to-face contact. Employees in our research have told us that in times of major change, they want to hear about it from the top executives at their companies. If doing a road show in person isn ‘t practical, a Town Hall that’s live-streamed is another option.
- Manager Tool Kits: Make sure managers are prepared for the change and know how to answer employees’ questions. It’s important that leadership throughout the organization be communicating a consistent message. Loop manager s in ahead of time, so they can get up to speed on the impacts of the change and the messaging that’s important to share. By providing tools like Talking Points, FAQs, Powerpoint presentations or spiral-bound table easels, you can make the task of communicating easier on your managers, and also help ensure employees are all hearing the same information.
Communicating change well isn’t easy. In fact, in Tribe’s research, 84% of employees say change is communicated poorly at their companies. For more on that topic, you might like this blog.Or for the Harvard Business Review’s take on turning a negative perception of change to a positive one, try this article.
Interesting in developing better change management communication channels? Tribe can help.