Training Magazine Middle East Q3 2015 - Page 38

BY DEBBIE NICOL

COMMUNICATE OR NOT ?

THERE IS NO QUESTION

COLUMN - Spotlight On Change

Many models of change exist with each attempting to be the supreme, the one and only or simply the best! All of them however do have one thing in common; communication plays a central role supporting all other change activities. So what are some tips, tricks and points to ponder that will ensure communications during change continue to contribute in the most positive way possible?

Preferences with communication

Research abounds on the impact of communication and the Prosci® Best Practices in Change Report provides much detail on three areas:

Preferred senders of messages throughout change

Employees want to receive messages from different levels of the organization at different milestones of the change process, in different formats with differing content.

The business reason for the change must be communicated by the figurehead position; after all, it has overall responsibility and is perceived to have access to accurate information. To those in the thick of change, suspicions can run wild! They need to be convinced by the one ‘at the top’; without hearing from that person, mistrust can fester.

Preferred content of messages during change

When you think of a 2 year old child their key question is ‘why’. As adults are often described as babies in big bodies, the same applies to driving the #1 preferred content of the messages, what is the reason or the need for change? If there’s no reason for it, there’s no reason for the people to change the way they work. Conversely at that point, the consequences of not changing are also being considered. Secondly, people wish to know what the benefits will be; in effect they are considering return on investment for the pains of making the change happen, and thereby considering the risks of not changing.

Preferences for managers and supervisors through change

Managers and supervisors are really the meat in the sandwich during periods of transformation. Stuck in the middle of any change is the manager, often with the weight of the world on his or her shoulders. Once the reasons for change are clear, the information they seek during leading change interventions is what role must they themselves play and the impact of this change on themselves.

Facilitating the receipt of messages during change

Listening is more than a physical act, and can also be influenced by emotions and attitudes. Think of child who hears his mother ask for the room to be cleaned, yet chooses not to listen or to prioritize the message; the same applies in organizational settings. Circumstances that impact an attitude towards active listening and hearing the change message can include levels of change saturation, history of degrees of success with change and personal circumstances to name a few. Where an organization can positively impact the receipt of the message may include:

38 | TRAINING MAGAZINE MIDDLE EAST Q3 2015