Fact: Human beings resist change. It’s just the way we’re wired. When that change happens in the workplace, it can be even more unsettling, because it affects people’s livelihoods and their families. For that reason, there’s no such thing as a perfectly smooth change. Employees will have concerns that you are responsible for addressing. Two effective ways of doing so:
- Authenticity. These days your change message, is as important as its perceived meaning. With constant exposure to mass media, people have become more skeptical of talking points from on high. So it’s critical for company leaders to back up their change message with authenticity. Leaders must internalize the message and deliver it enthusiastically. This adds a very necessary element of genuineness to a message.
- Social media. Many companies are taking to cyberspace to measure employees’ reactions to a change – and also to establish an ongoing dialogue with them about it. Some companies pore through posts in online forums (Twitter, blogs, etc.) to gauge employee comments. Others use message boards and online brainstorming tools to drum up dialogue and make employees true stakeholders in the change process. Your employees are probably already on social media; if you don’t embrace and leverage it, you may be done in by it.