Communication skills are most critical — and most valuable — when navigating big changes.
And right now, there are a lot of major changes happening, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are four strategies to rally the troops and get them to embrace your HR initiatives:
1. Get ready for friction. As you prepare to announce a change, brainstorm questions or concerns employees might have and how to answer them (e.g., staffers worried about how policy changes will affect them). Have a cheat sheet ready.
2. Expect diverse reactions. Some employees will be on board right away and some will push back. But the majority probably won’t have a strong opinion either way. Focus near-term communication efforts on the swing group. Then let them help you win over the rest.
3. Set a clear goal. Employees are more motivated to work through change if they have an end target in mind. Find out as much as you can about what changes they want and goals they’d find worthwhile.
4. Be honest about problems. Let employees know there may be hiccups in the process. They’ll be less likely to despair when issues come up if they’re prepared.
Remind them it’ll be worth it: Learning a new process is a lot of work but it will save time.
But the most important thing you need to do? Whether it’s a change to work-from-home policies or new time tracking software, don’t wait to communicate, says expert David Grossman.
Give your team what they want most during times of change: to be in the loop as plans are put in place.
That way you’ll get them onboard much quicker, he says.