By William T Batten
My formula to organisational change involves overcommunication.
Too often, leaders think they’re communicating a lot. After all, they’re in meetings all day and they have an open door policy. How could they not be?
But that’s not how their people see it.
Sure, the strategic leaders spend all day talking… but the typical employee gets very little facetime with them.
If you have 30-minute meetings and work ten-hour days, you can meet with a hundred people in a week. That’s assuming you have nothing else to do with your time.
That sounds like a lot.
But what can you learn in 30 minutes?
And how many people do you have under you, or influence your team from the outside? Even with this crazy schedule, you can’t talk with everyone.
From a frontline employee’s perspective, strategic leaders are too distant to communicate often.
Let alone overcommunicate.
If you’re driving a change initiative, then your people need to hear about it every day. They need to read emails, hear speeches and talk with their supervisors about it.
And across all of these, the messages need to be the same.
If, as a strategic leader, you start emailing your people every day… won’t they tune out?
If you ask your middle managers to pass on messages to their people, won’t they get bored?
The thing is, you can easily overcommunicate your vision for change without repeating yourself. Consider all the things you can talk about regarding a change initiative:
The reasons behind the change and the benefits it will bring.
How the change will transform the organisation.
What success looks like. This includes clearly defined targets to meet.
The strategic vision, including the goals of the change initiative and how to meet them.
Your personal vision, including what you hope to see as a result of this change.
Personal stories from you. This could include small wins you’ve had or moments in the past where this sort of problem led to disaster. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate you are leading by example and embracing the change.
Any progress made towards the strategic objectives – especially if it led to improvements.
Tips, tricks and tactics. For example: clarifying changes to policy, pointing out relevant reference materials and describing how to handle conflicts under the new system.
Acknowledging the struggle. Change is hard and stressful. It always requires employees to do extra work and learn new processes, at least at first. It’s important to show understanding.
Answering questions and addressing concerns as they arise.
That’s not even a full list, but it’s enough to get you started.
After a few cycles of that, your people will get it.
They’ll understand how and why they’re changing.
They’ll understand you’re serious about it.
And it won’t take long for them to see the best way to advance their career is to get on board.
The best way to enhance your organisation is with the ultimate advantage: trust.
But how do you measure something like that, let alone improve it?
Especially if your workforce is stretched thin, cynical and burned out on change?
There are simple, effective and proven strategies you can begin implementing today. I know you can unlock the creativity, productivity and joy of your employees.
Learn how today with my free white paper and all the resources you need to launch your own trust-based change initiative: