Say that you want to introduce a new computer process into your organisation and you’ve got 50 or maybe even 100 employees involved. What do you do next?
Do you go straight into planning mode and begin to meticulously plan and implement all those changes right across many different departments at exactly the same time?
No- While there are many logical reasons for managing change in this way.
There is a better option.
Tip #1. Piloting Process
Before you role this out with your entire organisation. You should take one department and then pilot this change with them.
You can use this test to see how well the change works, receive feedback and then move forward. And once your pilot team has taken the change onboard it is much stronger to implement these changes as a peer-to-peer sell.
The best way to do this is to encourage one person who is good at presenting (even in a really low key way) to stand up and explain to everybody else what is involved in the process. You should ensure that this is prior to the other departments receiving the official changes.
The presentation should include:
- what went well,
- what didn’t go so well
- & how they might be able to implement it from the beginning without the pitfalls that their department went through.
A peer-to-peer sell like this is so much more powerful than anything that you or one of your management team could possibly project at your sales force. With that in mind, they are much more likely to take the changes on board because the information supplied is real, human and honest.
Tip #2. The Principle of Communication
Every single one of us knows the value of communicating frequently and well, but this is never more important than during a time of change.
The general rule of thumb is that the more significant the issue the more frequently you should communicate with people and the more personal the better. So, if you are going to inform change by email, please make sure that it is a personal letter that comes from you as the MD/CEO or anyone of significance within an organisation. A HR person is often fine, but they must be identified as the principle, pivotal person who is implementing the change. If it comes from the correct person and it comes frequently, once a week if its a really significant involvement, if not once a month is just fine. But the more information you actually put into the email the better- don't forget to keep it factual, keep it simple and preferrably no more than one page.
Even if you’ve got people within the organisation who don’t normally use email because of their role then you must nominate somebody who is responsible for them to run it off on a simple A4 peice of paper and put it up on notice boards so that they can see it at lunchtime and read it.
The value of people being informed, involved and always having the opportunity to ask their opinion is really terribly important.
Sue Firth; is an Occupational Psycologist and leading expert on change management.