Office changes tough to pass on
By Michael Crom
Gannett News Service
By Michael Crom
Q. I'm a midlevel manager at a company that just announced a merger with another much larger company. Luckily, everyone in my department will keep their jobs and in my opinion this merger will be better in the long run. However, there are going to be some significant changes. I will have to communicate many of the changes to my employees. What can I do to help my employees embrace these changes?
A. As you probably know people don't change easily. For this reason, any communication about the change may result in a certain amount of anxiety, negativity or resistance. You will need to call on all of your skills as a leader and presenter to convince, persuade and inspire your employees to embrace change. Here are a few tips that might help you effectively communicate the changes to the employees in your department.
1. Begin with the end in mind — know the action that you want your listeners to take and work back from there. Know that you want to have employees swiftly adopt the new company's polices and construct your presentation from there.
2. Use convincing language — even if the change is forced, if you embrace the change and show that you do, your employees will feel the same. If you are convinced that these changes are for the better then don't use words like "hopefully" or "I think." Be definitive.
3. Produce evidence — it is natural to question a speaker so it doesn't matter if most of your employees know you, they will still wonder, "Why should I believe you?" People will want to see why they should change. Providing relevant evidence is a great way to motivate change.
4. End from the audience's point of view — close by giving the end result, and always give it in a way that would benefit the employees, for example, don't talk about how it will improve productivity or otherwise benefit you; instead show them how the new system will make their workday easier.
5. Anticipate questions — by anticipating questions you can be prepared with evidence and use convincing language during your response.
Michael Crom is executive vice president of Dale Carnegie Training.