Managing change and communicating appropriately – the importance of internal communications in supporting reality – not ignoring it

When you’re managing change or difficulties in a business, it is vital that your team feel supported and heard. Internal communications plays a huge role in this process and it is vital to get it right.

Make sure employees are the first to know

One of my team recently told me that in their last position a whole team was brought into a room and told ‘if you’re job title is not on this chart – you no longer have one’. There had been no consultation, and those people losing their jobs had not been told in advance. The result was that everyone felt betrayed and upset. Employees must be told first-hand what is happening. Imagine finding out a key piece of information about your family from a newspaper or friend. How would you feel?

Be sincere but not patronising

Of course, at the same time it’s important not to sugar coat the pill. The last thing your employees need at a time of difficulty is to be patronised or told things aren’t as bad as they think. If you appear happy go lucky when they’ve received bad news, you will come across as uncaring and insincere. It is not the role of internal communications to make people feel better; it is to give them all the facts so they can make their own informed decisions. The last thing you need when business is in trouble or going through a period of change, is to have employees bad-mouthing it as well.

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