What Advice Can Maintain Positive Employee Relations During Organizational Changes?


    What Advice Can Maintain Positive Employee Relations During Organizational Changes?

    Navigating major organizational changes while keeping employee relations positive is a challenge that requires wisdom from the top. We've gathered insights from CEOs to editors, focusing on the importance of planning disclosures and offering empathetic support. Here are five pieces of advice from seasoned professionals on maintaining a positive atmosphere during transitions.

    • Plan and Time Disclosures Carefully
    • Encourage Deep Employee Engagement
    • Ensure Transparency and Honesty
    • Start Weekly One-on-one Meetings with Employees
    • Offer Empathetic Support During Change

    Plan and Time Disclosures Carefully

    As the owner of a small firm, I know the value of positive employee relations. And as a working recruiter, I've seen what happens when a major organizational shift isn't properly planned for: Retention rates suffer, and turnover increases, costing companies vast amounts of money and effort.

    To avoid this outcome, timing is key.

    Don't assume that any one worker is unaffected by the changes occurring. Even if their department is relatively unscathed, giving them proper warning will make them feel included and remembered.

    Whenever possible, notifications should go out simultaneously. Letting one team know about the change ahead of time is a surefire way to spread rumors and gossip.

    Try to minimize any delay between management's decision and your in-office press release. If employees know that this shift was in the works long before they were brought into the fold, they're more likely to feel bitter about the upcoming changes.

    Careful timing can eliminate most employee negativity, so prepare a plan for disclosure early in the process, and move quickly once it's in motion to avoid upset.

    Linn Atiyeh
    Linn AtiyehCEO, Bemana

    Encourage Deep Employee Engagement

    The single piece of advice I would give for maintaining positive employee relations during a major organizational change is to secure deep engagement. During a pivotal time in my career, I led my team to shift our attention from being purely technology-focused to becoming thoroughly immersed in our customers' needs. This move not only realigned our product development but also cultivated a customer-oriented culture within our team—a change that yielded considerable impacts. By encouraging deep engagement, employees felt a more profound connection and importance to the organization and its mission, which in turn infused greater positivity and harmony in employee relations amidst the significant changes.

    Brett Farmiloe
    Brett FarmiloeCEO, Featured

    Ensure Transparency and Honesty

    It's important to be transparent and honest with employees. When leadership tries to hide things, employees get angry and frustrated. Employees want to feel like they are an important part of the change, not just sitting back and watching.

    Kelli Anderson
    Kelli AndersonCareer Coach, Texas General Insurance

    Start Weekly One-on-one Meetings with Employees

    I would recommend transparent communication. If you are managing a large team, always try to be transparent. Start one-on-ones on a weekly basis and keep the pulse on what people are thinking.

    If you keep providing clarity on a weekly basis and answering all the questions they have, they will keep spreading the right word across.

    Change is always painful, but it's leadership's responsibility to lead the change with complete transparency and regular communication.

    Muhammad Saad Khan
    Muhammad Saad KhanDirector, Product Marketing, Cloudways by DigitalOcean

    Offer Empathetic Support During Change

    Empathy is key during organizational change. Understanding the emotional impact on employees and offering support, whether through counseling or flexible work arrangements, can go a long way in maintaining morale and positive relations. In times of change, I've seen companies set up dedicated 'change-support' teams, comprised of HR professionals and mental health experts, to provide personalized assistance to employees facing difficulties.

    Robert Samuels
    Robert SamuelsEditor, Value of Stocks