Managing change in 2013 is a different ball game from ten years ago. Failing to carefully communicate and manage change in your workforce can mean facing a PR nightmare. This year we’ve seen HMV have their twitter hijacked by disgruntled employees during a mass firing, and an internal Yahoo! memo leaked the unwelcome abolishment of working-from-home benefits.
The speed and anonymity of online whispers means businesses are more exposed and accountable than before. Whether it’s strategic, operational, technological or personnel changes, delivering the news to employees and stakeholders must be done with care; especially if the news can be construed negatively.
Here are some keys to remember when managing change:
Be clear about why the change is necessary, the plan ahead and how it will affect those involved. And transparency doesn’t just end at the first announcement; continue to be transparent throughout the change process. Your employees don’t want to feel like they’re being ‘left in the dark’.
It’s easier for people to accept change when they feel a part of the decision-making. If it’s possible, be inclusive and open to suggestions from your employees and stakeholders. This doesn’t mean you’re obligated to act on it, but turn it into a conversation rather than declaration.
Be A Leader
Times of change require strong leadership and the commitment of those who have strong influence. Having the commitment and leadership of key managers will go a long way to allaying emotional uncertainty. Communicating change often will need a top-down approach.
It’s impossible to predict every outcome and exactly how people will react. Be prepared for things to turn out different than expected and be nimble enough to respond. Constantly assess the landscape and be open to feedback. Finding the right course isn’t always the first course.
Although the rules for change management are relatively the same, the cost of getting it wrong is higher than before. After all, no one wants to be the next ‘evil employer’ on the news.
If you’re embarking on company change, we have fast and reliable temporary staff available to help you through the transition. Call your local TempsAhead office to discuss any upcoming needs.