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Tips to communicate changes at work and not fail in the attempt

Learn how HR and/or business leaders can deal with processes of change in the company.

The goal is to keep employees engaged and aligned with the company’s culture when facing a process of change in the organization.

1. Communicate the reasons for change openly and honestly

  • Make sure that all employees understand the reasons for change: this will vanish any suspicion that there is a problem you are trying to hide.
  • Avoid encouraging gossip and rumors by being transparent and truthful.

2. Changes should be communicated from top to bottom

  • When changes are significant they require commitment and participation guided by a consistent leadership model.
  • Employees expect to be informed about the current situation of the organization and about the problems which the leaders are facing.

3. Explain to employees how changes will affect them

  • They want to know what a change will mean for them personally and professionally: Does it affect their role? Will their performance be measured differently? Will they have a new boss or team?
  • You must understand the emotional component of the employees’ reaction to change: many of them will be anxious about their future. 

4. Explain the process in detail

  • Communicate the plan step by step of what will happen and when. The more clearly they know what to expect, the more comfortable they will be with the process.
  • Share what you know, what you don’t know yet and when you expect to fill in the gaps.

5. Give employees the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns

  • In order to keep employees engaged, communication must be bidirectional: employees expect their doubts and concerns to be solved and addressed.
  • An anonymous survey can help to know the employees’ main concerns; however, a face-to-face meeting is always preferable.