Monday, April 20, 2015

Effective Communication and Change Management

Effective Communication is the key for success career in Change Management. Oftentimes, managers get so keen on being just that - a manager. A person holed up in a room, reading productivity reports, formulating processes and forgetting about the welfare of the people who put him/her in that room in the first place.

At a recent meeting at work, we were informed of a change that would take effect next quarter. It entails losing our monthly productivity incentive, quarterly incentive and attendance incentive. Anything in excess of 4 counts of tardiness and/or one unplanned absence in a quarter will automatically disqualify us from getting anything. It is an all or nothing, regardless of hitting 110% of productivity targets. I understand losing the attendance incentive if we exceed the allowable occurences, but to lose even your productivity incentive was just so demotivating.

There was only one thing that ran through my mind. So, if I am tardy for the 5th time, I won't do my work anymore. I will just slack off because I won't be getting anything anyway. I will not push myself to do more than is required, because my efforts won't be recognized anyway. So the poor supervisor was flooded with questions. Of course, she couldn't say much, because she does not know much. I said, "Why don't you involve us in your decision making? It is us who will be impacted with this change and yet you kept us in the dark, disregarding our thoughts, ideas and opinions." And then I heard a response I never thought would come from someone holding the title of "supervisor."

"Honestly, with the position she (referring to the Manager) is holding now, she does not need your opinion if she wants to make a change."

And to think that this person holds the position of "Manager."

In the corporate setting, changes are rolled out to improve processes and propel the business forward. However, the success of a proposed change will depend on the effectiveness of how it was communicated to the company down lines and its possible effect on its frontliners. Lack of communication can make or break a company. 

I have read a lot about the relationship between management styles, effective communication, employee satisfaction and the success of the business. Indeed, there are a lot of knowledge that can benefit even in the smallest enterprise. Here are some of the things I have learned:

1. When changes are proposed in an organization, effective communication should be in the form of conversation. Change managers and employees discussing a proposed change would foster a smoother implementation.

2. Be open to new ideas and suggestions in bringing about change. Leaders should listen to what their employees have to say, such as wanting you to hire commercial cleaning services to keep the office clean and pleasant, for example When employees are left out in the periphery, management can very well expect resentment, distrust and resistance to change.

3.  Poor communication can lead to employee apathy, poor performance and increased incidence of absenteeism. Leaders must get rid of the attitude, "Its that way because I said so." Be like a mother who is always ready to answer that "Why" question.

4. Acknowledge the fact that employees deserve to be involved in company decisions specially if it will significantly impact their attitude towards work, their lives, and their finances.

5. Employees feel empowered if they are able to have upward communication. This type of communication is when information flows upward in an organization and usually consists of feedback. If bosses or managers are able to listen to employees and respond, this leads to an increase in employee job satisfaction.In addition, employees are also happy if there is intense downward communication, which is information flowing down from superiors or managers to direct reports. (Source:

6. Power-tripping is the worst thing a leader or change manager can engage in. Unfortunately, some leaders use this as a way to get back at employees who "ask questions" and "show resistance." They then implement unreasonable goals making it more difficult for employees to feel happy with what they are doing. The end result is losing good employees to a competitor company.


7. Look for compromise. Instead of trying to win the argument, look for solutions that meet everybody's needs. This focus is much more effective than one person getting what he or she wants at the other's expense. Healthy and effective communication involves finding a resolution that all parties can be happy with. This is especially true in the workplace. (Source:

8. Employees value leaders who are human and who don't hide behind their authority. The best leaders are those who aren't afraid to be themselves. Managers who respect and connect with others on a human level inspire great loyalty. (Souce:

I will be back at work again tonight, hoping to get by the nine dreadful hours. I will pray before I start to work that I may keep my sanity and complete my daily tasks. I have crawled back in my shell once more, shutting out all negative and power freaks. Tonight, it will just be me, my monitor, my keyboard and my earphones. Just me, myself and I.


1 comment:

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