7 ways to help managers and employees navigate change

Keeping staff engagement high during a restructuring, new faces in top-tier positions or even a modification of benefits requires candid two-way communication. Try these approaches.

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Almost every day, it seems, there’s another merger, new leadership, an outsourcing, a new benefits program, layoffs and more. Because of this, communicating change has become more challenging. Leaders are overwhelmed, managers aren’t engaged, and employees are change-fatigued.

How can you overcome these obstacles?

Here are seven tips to navigate (and communicate) your next big change:

1. Leaders are people, too, so they also feel anxiety and uncertainty.

Your CEO may understand his role, but the leaders who report to him—and the VPs on the next tier—might not see themselves as key change communicators. Here are four reasons:

Create an opportunity to ease anxiety and prepare them for their roles.

2. Training helps prepare managers for their key role in change communication.

Although leaders are expected to know all the details about the change, managers are the people that employees approach first with questions. It’s important to prepare managers so they don’t feel blindsided.

3. Change champions are the key to reducing toxic gossip.

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