How to Tell Your Team That Organizational Change Is Coming

“From time to time, every leader has to deliver news that is hard for employees to hear. Even when businesses are doing well, organizational and structural change is to be expected, and acquisitions, reorganizations, or policy changes can affect people’s jobs in ways that create feelings of fear, anger, or sorrow. Each employee wonders, ‘How will this change affect me?’ or assumes, ‘Oh, this won’t be good! How am I going to get my work done?’”

Liz Kislik with Harvard Business Review discussing the importance of planning, communicating and organizing daunting announcements with detailed steps:

  1. Plan more time than you ever thought necessary to prepare the content, the delivery, and the necessary follow-up.Small team and individual follow ups, coordinating announcements, and giving people multiple opportunities to take in and process the announcement is essential.
  2. Equip all levels of management to explain the context.Delve into training and executing at every level. The details matter in the communication throughout the company.
  3. Describe the organizational pain, and how the new solution alleviates it.Give the background of what’s not working today and and how the change will help mitigate those problems.
  4. Personalize both the impact and the resolution.How does this organizational change impact frontline workers and how is the company providing support and services?
  5. Give the affected people as many options and as much participation as you can.With choices, employees feel respected and maintain more pride and autonomy.
  6. Demonstrate humility and responsibility, not just authority. You can’t prepare for every curveball, don’t try to fake your way through.

Read more about these recommendation from Kislik’s article: