Communicating Organisational Change
Coping with Change
Trust and motivation lies at the heart of every organisation, and when change occurs, it naturally creates uncertainty and unrest. HR staff will play a crucial role in overcoming resistance from employees, and should be involved from the beginning of the process to minimise feelings of fear and worry in the workforce.
We all look for stability and certainty when going through change, and by providing employees with a clear outline of what is coming, and particularly how it will affect them, it can be handled without any impact on the bottom line.
In this blog Phil Underwood, author and business mentor, provides effective solutions for implementing business change for maximum success and minimum staff disruption.
Involving the workforce in the development of the organisational change will give them ownership over the solutions, which results in them adopting, maintaining and improving on the changes agreed and becoming advocates within the organisation.
However, to involve employees, businesses first have to understand how the workforce feels, including respecting their varied perspectives and opinions on the future plans in question. Whilst this may delay the process somewhat, it will increase engagement, trust and motivation throughout the workforce, whilst increasing the likelihood that any changes will be accepted with minimal disruption.
 Effective Communication
When we communicate in a business environment, it is often a one-way dialogue, yet with over 60% of people thinking visually, there is, arguably, a better way to get the point across.
Knowledge can be captured visually (using tools such as infographics), and is often a quicker and more accessible method of capturing and communicating information. It is also one which facilitates and encourages two-way communication – which can even be as simple as capturing comments on post-it notes and sticking them to a communal board!
 Living Plans: Getting there together
HR managers should collate all the information in order to produce clear plans for organisational change.
These plans need to become ‘Living Plans’, meaning they are always evolving to suit both internal and external changes – from market trends, to customer needs, to business growth. Living plans facilitate and encourage communication, ensuring that members of the workforce are not only advocates of change, but that they also are a vital component in helping the organisation to achieve it.
To put this into practice, every office or department can have a wall displaying its Living Plans, allowing for real time developments and quick identification of potential problems. This method ensures that every time someone comes into the office, they can clearly see the vision, issues and ideas being discussed.
Engaging future ex-employees
The question often arises of how an organisation can engage and build trust with a workforce which is facing redundancies.
An effective solution it to provide the workforce with the practical tools for achieving ownership over their professional development, future and aspirations. This could be as simple as a personal development programme, business toolkit, or simply a list of objectives. Whilst this might consume valuable resources, it will go a long way in ensuring ex-employees are supporters of the business, as well as reassuring the current workforce.
By investing time into involving the workforce even at the earliest stages of change, an organisation will not only save time, energy and money, but it will also be known as a business which is innovative, with a motivated and valued workforce.
Author and respected business mentor, Phil Underwood
Posted on: Monday 23rd Jan 2017