Implementing organizational change is a difficult chore, but it is often a necessary one. Different reasons can result in the need for organizational change such as closures, mergers or introducing new financial systems or software. Regardless of the underlying reason, change must be implemented effectively to be successful. Poor communication is often the cause of many organizational problems. Consequently, change can be implemented effectively by using communication as its main tool.
Tell employees the reason for the change. Employees are frequently ignorant of the details concerning the organization’s issues. To increase their acceptance of the change, tell them why the change and the corresponding results are needed. Further, avoid using clichés such as wanting the organization to be the most trend-setting ever. Even if the cliché is catchy, it may not give the employees rational insight as to what the change is about. Employees need a logical explanation of the change before they can advocate it.
Explain the change with visuals. Telling the employees about the change does not always provide them with a vivid mental picture of the change. Visual aids such as charts and pictures can highlight the organizational structure you are implementing. Consider using examples of other companies that may have used a similar structure to the one you are implementing. Take pictures or use published clips if possible, to show how these organizations function. Refrain from making the pictures difficult to comprehend. Allow employees ample time to get used to the new concept.
Make a plan that shows employees how they will go from one point to the next. Management may not require a plan to arrive at the destination; however, employees need to be informed of how they will make it there. They do not have to have the details such as specifically when a merger will occur. They just need to know their role in the transition.
Listen to the employees’ feedback. It is difficult to communicate and implement change effectively if management is not sensitive to employees’ comments or concerns. If the change is causing frustration among employees, allow them to air their grievances to a reasonable degree. They could have justifiable reasons, which could result in them suggesting new ideas or solutions that management hadn’t thought of. Listening to employees’ feedback also helps management to know how employees are feeling.
Management should always approach the implementation with diplomacy and a positive attitude, even if the change is not negotiable. It is critical that employees do not feel like they are being forced into it.
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