I think managers and supervisors are the best face to face communicators during times of change. This found post has another title and actually a limited different view. Limited because as I read the post my impression was and is that line managers should be extensively supported by their top management. Rather fair I would say
Everywhere you look these days the focus in Human Resources and Employee Communication is managing change within organizations. But most of these programs fail to achieve their objectives. During bad economic times the focus is usually on providing coaching on understanding the emotions people go through during change, helping employees deal with the complex emotions of watching colleagues leave, communication strategies that utilise management hierarchies to communicate face to face with their teams on what is happening next in organizational restructures and so on.
The reason why this approach does not work is because the focus is on managing fear, not change. And this is why managers don’t follow through with the key messages and face to face discussions with their teams that you have so cleverly crafted. I realise that some “studies” show that employees trust their immediate manager or supervisor more than anyone in the organization. Therefore it must follow that if you are designing a communication and change strategy focused on organizational restructures and downsizing the smart thing to do would be to utilize them as a key part of your face to face strategy.
Actually this is not the case and there are many reasons why this is not the way to approach change during these times. Think about it. Here you have an entire organization paralysed with fear. Budget cuts all around, negative media speculation, no one is secure. And the only person who really knows what is being planned is the CEO. Is it any wonder, when you give a script for managers and supervisors to communicate to staff, their teams ask what’s going to happen with our jobs, and the manager or supervisor in the spirit of trust and honesty says, “I don’t know, I don’t even know what is going happen to me.” So this is why you need to take a different approach to face to face communication during these times.
So here is an example of how you can still give accountability for specific messages to managers and supervisors and at the same time utilize your CEO as a key communicator during times of change .
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