As an upper-level manager, privy to information at every level, change may not cause you any concern. To the average employee, however, who works in a small area or department, experiencing changes can be unsettling. Most of the bad press around changes have mostly to do with the lack of open conversation beforehand regarding these changes. If management can approach it correctly, change doesn’t have to impact employees so hard. In the case of transitioning to an enterprise information management system, the incremental changes can affect everyone and should be communicated openly and fairly. Here are some tips for communicating to your employees.
There is no need to keep the plan a secret. Adopting an enterprise information management plan is going to ultimately be better for everyone. Announcing what is about to happen and the steps to get there will prepare employees for upcoming changes. Even the smallest tweaks to departments or job descriptions can cause a ripple of negativity throughout the office. Be direct, upfront, and create the narrative yourself. That way, employees won’t be left wondering or become frightened about job security.
Tell them what you are going to do and then tell them why you are doing it. Enterprise information management is an overall better shift for a company, but your employees may not fully realize or understand that. Address the reasons for the decision and reassure them that this is not a move to replace their jobs or make structural changes. Eliminate as much worry as you can and explain the benefits to them personally and professionally.
Developing an enterprise information management plan is no small task. It affects both the big picture and the departments. From your vantage point, it might be hard to anticipate some of the issues, so involving employees gives you a wider perspective. Involving your employees communicates their value to the company, and you may find that you gain some really great insight and new ideas through different people’s perspectives and feedback.
No change goes exactly as planned. Without creating doom and gloom, prepare your staff and even customers for potential issues. Have backup plans in place if — or when — something doesn’t go according to plan. Don’t try to cover up issues or problems. Address them head-on. Adopting an enterprise information management plan is a large undertaking and there may be bumps in the road.
Give your employees the opportunity to give feedback. Address changes and schedules in meetings and through emails, but also provide a way that employees can be heard privately. Showing that you value your employees’ input will go a long way in building trust. Be open to any feedback, whether good or bad and encourage people to speak up when they have an idea or issue. People want to be part of the solution and it’s important to include them. Additionally, you could hear something that will be of great importance in the process.
Making the transition to enterprise information management has long-term benefits for the operations and profitability of a company. It’s a huge undertaking and takes careful planning, time, and a smooth rollout. By taking the time to properly prepare your employees for any upcoming changes, you are communicating their value to you. Allowing them to be involved in the process and provide feedback will build a stronger and more cooperative team.