Change in the workplace will be constant. It is best to communicate change in the workplace as early as possible. Change tends to create confusion and stress among employees, which in turn affects their performance and productivity. If you communicate early what changes are to occur it helps with the resistance some will have to the change. This will also give employees the time they need to prepare themselves for the changes. Communication is vitally important when change of any sort occurs. As tensions can rise, communication can often break down just when it is needed the most. Some suggestions for communicating during times of change include:
- Acknowledge other people's feelings. Don't try to squelch someone's feelings or they will just go underground. Let them know you understand the frustrations they may feel.
- Share All Relevant Information. Communicate what the change is, but also explain why it is occurring and how it will impact them. If you don't have all the information you need, let them know that as opposed to waiting until you know everything. They need to understand what is happening as much as possible.
- Actively Seek Formation. Take responsibility for gaining access to the information you need. Ask for clarification when you are unclear and probe with questions. Take the steps you need to take to get answers.
- Use Feedback to Correct Problematic Communication. It is common to observe negativity during change. However, a leader's responsibility is to not let that negativity infect others around them. You need to address it and coach the team member to stop being negative and behave differently.
- Use Appropriate Methods to Send Messages. Don't hide behind email when you need to dialogue about changes, their impact and the reasons behind them. Make sure you are present for your team and discuss with them what they need from you.
Download a copy of our whitepaper "Guide to Interpersonal Communication Skills at Work". We are not all the same and we don't all approach things in the same way. This paper will help you learn about the different behavioral styles, the end result is you can better lead people and realize what motivates them, as unique individuals.