Organizational Change – Know, Speak, Listen
1. Change is tough on every organization; no matter if the purpose is for better or for worse. But like many say, get used to it or get lost.
2. During change, knowledge is power. The more everyone involved knows, the better. Not to mention that in most cases everyone should have been already somehow, even if minutely, involved in making the change decision. Information about the big change should roll out in waves. For example, an information and question wave, a preparation wave, the huge wave of change, and the recap and mend wave. What’s even better than knowing what is going on, is knowing how to find out or pretend like you know what is going on. Associates appreciate and stand by stable, strong, and honest leaders, even if the change they are about to take on may feel like a disaster. Lost is not a good look at this moment. If you don’t know, then you don’t know, at least be honestly honest about it. Strong is always better than WRONG. Employees want to go home and brag about what is going on at work, they want to feel important and part of the organization, part of something worth a while (even when the change is not a happy one) the moment you make them a lost puzzle piece is the moment you lose an engine to your ship.
3. I noticed it is important to speak with employees and fellow colleagues, not only communicate. Let’s face it, no matter the subject line, an e-mail about organizational change says, “We don’t have time to speak with you right now nor do we really want to”. Build a loyal and knowledgeable fan club that can make face time for you, if you can not. Spend time informing all of the leaders (and your fan club) so that they can disperse the information to all other associates and provide them with necessary materials.
4. Listen! Everything will not be perfect and everyone will not be on board, but even those on board may have something to say. Just listening to struggling associates and making sure that they do not feel alone may be all you will have to do. Their steam and frustration has to go somewhere.
5. There are many ways to go about organizational change, you can spring it all at once or you could break it up into million of pieces and let it take its course. Be careful in making the process too long, you may end up having to hustle too many small payments and wonder why you didn’t just pay all at once. Be careful in making a process too short, you may end up leveraging weight you don’t have enough support for.
6. Every place needs a make over, but it is just as much as what you say, as what you actually do.
Looking forward to more,