Posts Tagged ‘employee transition’

Communicating Change

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Communicating Change

Most change in business is economy driven – whether an opportunity, a problem, or a crisis.  If you’ve managed a change in the way works gets done, you know that change can translate to temporary losses in productivity, time, and even staff or customers.  Exactly what and how change is communicated has a big impact on how the change is adopted.  And you want success!

While change definitely gets the headline, the hard part of managing change is making an effective transition to the new reality and new expectations.  Your communication will either support the change and the transition or create more resistance and barriers to the change.

Before You Communicate Consider:

  1. What’s in it for the people you are communicating to and other stakeholders?
  2. What can you tell them about the future? The Big picture/Vision.
  3. What can’t you tell them, why you can’t and when you will be able to tell them? Not
    everything will be known at the onset. How will you keep them informed?
  4. What needs to be done and when does it need to happen? (Goals, Timeframe, Actions)

When you Communicate:

  • Ask open questions that invite a thoughtful, specific response.  What questions do you have? Any concerns about the timeframe? How do you think customers will respond? Where do you think this will create the most challenge? How would you like to handle this part of the process?
  • Listen and respond to both facts and any individual concerns/fears.
  • Each time you discuss the change balance the communication by linking it back to: its
    purpose, the big picture, the plan, and the parts everyone will play.
  • As the change proceeds, announce progress…those first few steps are the path to
    the future.


When things are changing, increase communication!  There may be resistance to losing an old way and identity, fear associated with a new beginning (will I succeed?), and the disorientation that’s a natural part of transition. People may agree with the change, but personal transition is needed.  Keep acknowledging facts, respond to questions, provide reassurance.  In today’s market, be a change leader!

Supportive Exits

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Being an HR practitioner, I’m attentive to hearing what seems like daily stories of individuals losing their jobs due to this economic phase. Investigating this further, I’m finding that many employers are doing the right thing by keeping employees informed as to the state of their business and reducing operational and other costs to avoid layoffs. This makes sense, as individuals are the valued workers that power business success. However, not all employees are receiving support to help them transition to new employment.

Whether you’re the CEO, an Administrative Coordinator, or the Technology Engineer, in the span of our working lives, jobs provide us with core aspects for our wellbeing–as defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including: self esteem, confidence, the respect of others, community/social belonging, challenge and personal growth, finances to provide for our homes, food and medicine. You get the picture – loss of employment, especially in a down market when other jobs aren’t readily available, can affect personal security, self-esteem, and wellbeing.

Individuals need a supportive transition to bridge new employment. With fewer jobs on the market, there are different techniques to secure a new position. Holding out for a full-time permanent position like they once had may have them unemployed for an extensive period. Small contracts lead to longer contracts; temporary employment can lead to permanent. This is the new reality of the workworld.

If a formal program is too costly, source one-on-one HR career consulting services to help them to: understand the new realities, plan, and implement their job search. For example, they’ll need a talent-based resume to stand out. The old style focusing on previous experiences and past skills don’t matter as much as current talents and fundamental strengths. Workplace routine is also out of style; people need to be change-ready with current talents, innovation, and clear thinking in order to meet business goals.

Because it’s the right thing to do

Be a responsible employer – show that you care about your valued employees, as individuals needing transition support to seek new employment. Remaining staff will see their employer “doing the right thing”, and you’ll benefit. People need to know they’re working for an organization that demonstrates they care when it matters most.