Fresh approaches to engaging middle managers with change communications

Alleviating the pressure felt by middle managers through resources and messaging support.

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During Ragan’s Internal Communications Conference last fall at Microsoft HQ, RCG Affiliate Consultant Julie Baron addressed some of the top manager comms challenges that attendees were feeling in the room. Chief among them were the pains felt around strategically understanding how to reach managers based on where they sit in the organization.

“These managers who are in the middle, they have the executive team or their leadership team up above them,” Baron said. “Those people who are asking, ‘Do this faster, with less money with less people get it done with better quality.’ So there’s a lot of pressure.”

Filling the gap

Baron cited the work of her client Debbie Mell, internal communications manager at Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit, who worked to fill the gap between change comms preparation and a consistent cadence.

When it comes to change comms preparation, Mell led with a focus on:

Finding your ‘pockets of excellence’

Understanding that there is a gap to be filled, Mell identifies managers who she calls “pockets of excellence”. “Managers who are just naturally gifted at communications, managers who work at it more than others to be better at it,” said Baron.

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