Every day in the papers and on TV, I read about how I should change; eat more fruit, do more exercise, change my work/life balance, be fulfilled. Change, change, change. On a regular basis, we are asked by clients to produce work that communicates change to their employees. It might be a shift in culture, adjustment to a working environment, new technology to adopt or simply a revision of the way things are done.
As internal communications specialists, we understand that people are unnerved by change, but we know that getting the message across in the right (persuasive but not scary!) way helps to smooth the transition and emphasise that the change is essential. And that is key.
Now here’s the interesting part: Science is unravelling this mysterious fear and finding that there are actually neurological reasons for some of the barriers associated with change. Although we are more advanced than our ancestors, the primitive flight-or-fight makeup is still triggered by change and when people are presented with a crisis, neuroscience confirms that their natural response is to feel threatened. Researchers are using neuromarketing to develop a direct correlation between brain function and consumer behaviour.
Through some slight adjustments in the way we manage our communication messages, we can alleviate the fear of all things new. This involves more than an encouraging e-mail from the CEO or loud hailer announcement. By engaging employees far earlier, focusing on the benefits and actively listening - employee engagement can be far more effective.
So, change and the uncertainty it brings with it can be a positive experience afterall. With the right approach and some early thinking , preparation and involvement with your employees, you will empower them to embrace change without fear.
If you're looking to communicate change within your business, give us a call and let's have a chat.