Most CEC members (probably yourself included) have experienced considerable change lately. In fact, change has been such a hot topic among our CEC members that last year we published a major research study on the topic. We found that the average employee, over only a two year period, experiences more than 3.5 significant changes at his or her organization. The cumulative effect can be devastating to the morale and performance of your workforce. The solution, as we laid out, is to help your company build a “change-ready”, agile organization — one where employees not only survive the onslaught of change, but lean into it.
Personally, I have experienced two significant changes in just the past three months – a company acquisition and a new direct manager. And there is no doubt that, regardless of whether the change is perceived as a positive or negative, your foundations are shaken. You can’t help but feel some combination of loss, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes even doubt.
Exciting new research from our sister program, the Compliance &Ethics Leadership Council, has built on our study from last year, providing further evidence for the critical role that Communications plays in effectively rolling out a change. Their findings were so exciting for us, that we at CEC are taking another look at what these data mean for us communicators. For example, one such finding revealed that communicating effectively during a change can reduce the risk of employee misconduct and preserve corporate culture by as much as 61%.
But what does “effective communication” look like?
Our colleagues in CELC we able to statistically show that “effective communication” has three critical communication attributes:
1. Timing of Communication – Receiving information about the change in advance can reduce the decline in employee perceptions of the company’s culture (or Perception of Integrity as CELC calls it) by as much as 93%.
What it means for us? Provide transparency as soon as humanly (and legally!) possible.
2. Channel of Communication – Managers who participate in open dialogue with their employees to reinforce – and make relevant – messages from Corporate Communication can increase the perception of corporate culture by 22%.
What it means for us? Enable managers to hold effective dialogue with their direct reports
3. Content of Communication – Providing employees with messages that help them to make decisions has a 26% increase in corporate culture.
What it means for us? Consider the following question when thinking about information to share with employees — what information would this employee need to make a decision on their own?
If your organization has recently gone through a change and you have thoughts on how to do any of these three things effectively, I would love to schedule a research conversation with you. Please e-mail me at email@example.com.
CEC Related Resources:
- Building a Change-Ready Organization
- Change Management Topic Center
- M&A: Toolkit for Corporate Communication
CEC Related Blogs:
- Change Leadership: Taking Another Look at Kotter’s 8 Steps
- Where Kotter’s 8 Steps Gets it Wrong
- Spot the Symptoms of Change Fatigue