In the words of the author Peter Senge: “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.” and that’s the key element every leader must remember when it comes to implementing a new process. Communicating the rollout of a new performance management system heightens this feeling, and although it’s in the best interest of your people and the company, it may not feel like that to those involved. Change is followed by the transformation period, and like anything that has been uprooted or unearthed, you don’t know what it will bring up for your people; professionally or personally.
We deal with companies daily who must communicate that Frankli is their new platform which will positively transform their performance management experience. Even if your people might agree in theory that they need a change, they might be much less thrilled about something new in practice often feeling overwhelmed at the thought of it. To ensure a smoother transition, we’ve compiled a strategy to help you better communicate this kind of change.
Set the Scene
As obvious as it sounds, start at the beginning. Bring everyone right back to ground level by laying out the basics of how the current system works. There is no new information for your people in this, but, likely, this process is tightly weaved into their working day so they don’t usually get the opportunity to take a step back from it, and you are now creating the space for them to do this. It gives them a chance to look at it again but with fresh eyes and connect in with the fact that it does need changing and encourage new drive and determination, by explaining a solution is on the way.
Recognise the Need
When communicating the rollout, it’s essential to outline the need for this new process . The very fact that you are implementing one means your current performance management system needs updating, and that will be no surprise to your people. It’s also likely the need for change has been expressed by them too, and listening to them is crucial in knowing what is genuinely needed. With the new process, explain that the annual check-ins are not cutting it, that feedback and praise need to be in real-time as well as more regularly and thankfully, you have found a software platform that can support these desired changes to the current process.
There is a good reason behind your change, and it’s in everyone’s best interest, communicate that. Loudly and clearly. This will save time, help manage the process more efficiently and effectively and allow for more significant streamlining of everyone’s aims and efforts, and align them with the companies, so everyone is working towards the same goals. It will also help identify if there are any issues and put you in a better position to support them. It’s vital to reinforce why you are doing this and the positive returns expected.
Discuss the Process
Show them how the new process works. Give a taster without overload and show them how their interaction with it might look like from day to day. Follow up with sufficient training and assure everyone that it will be available for as long as required. This is also an excellent time to explain this is not a silver bullet situation. You need buy-in from your people and as with anything in life; you get out of it what you put in. Consistent evaluation is a necessary part when communicating the rollout to stay on track and make sure everyone has an idea of their role in ensuring this. It’s also the perfect opportunity to manage expectations about the new system and what is expected of them. Talking about reaching the desired results will also keep everyone focused on the bigger picture and engaged with the procedure.
No matter how right your approach might be, if someone has a concern on their mind, it will likely take their internal centre stage until addressing. Therefore an essential part of communicating the rollout and change is by responding to these fears. It’s worth keeping in mind that resistance to change is often rooted in fear. From concerns over their performance to worries about adapting to a new system, everyone will be bringing their anxieties to the table, and not everyone is always willing to share them or co-operate with the new plan. What you can do, is listen to anyone who feels comfortable expressing themselves alongside communicating any potential pitfalls or fears you think might arise. For example, the length of time training will add to their work schedule or will the new system lead to micromanaging.
Let Your People Lead
It’s easy to lead out on this process, but it’s crucial that you let your people take the reins. They are the ones who are going to be immersed in it, so hear what they have to say throughout the process and take it on board. Everyone will meet change differently, and you need to be able to respond to that. Your people will be directly impacted by this process as well as having a fundamental role in its success so by putting it in their hands alongside your support; the new system is much more likely to flourish. Let your people lead, not the software.
Don’t forget to get excited about the project. Remind everyone of the positives throughout such as the great results, echo the future return, the ease this will bring to their work and improvements to their office culture. There are lots to look forward to so make sure everyone feels that enthusiastic energy during the implementation period. Most importantly, know that communicating the rollout is ongoing and make sure your people know your door is always open if they have any queries about the process as you move firmly forward, together.
If you are looking to upgrade your performance management process, speak with us today.