Often the team charged with leading a change is so embedded in the details, members have difficulty articulating it and helping others understand it. Questions are the perfect antidote to this curse of knowledge.
Here are my favorite techniques to get questions out in the open, so you can uncover multiple perspectives about a change and leverage those details across communication materials:
- Create profiles of typical employees. Ask members of the change team to put themselves in the shoes of these representative employees and brainstorm their questions.
- Imagine the toughest, most in-your-face employee you know. Then, draft questions that person would ask and craft candid answers.
- Gather leaders and/or managers and, after a quick overview, ask them to imagine rolling out the change: What questions will employees have? (Hint: This technique also uncovers leaders’ and managers’ questions.)
- Conduct a focus group (or two) with a group of cross-functional employees. Provide an overview of the change and ask attendees which questions need to be answered. While there will be common questions, the colleague from accounting will likely have a different perspective from the one in sales.
- Check if your change management team conducted a stakeholder analysis. This document outlines the potential challenges for employee groups, which may feed your thinking about questions that will come up.
The power of FAQs
Here’s a tip: Now that you have a bunch of great questions, use them to create an essential change communication tactic: the FAQ document. In my experience, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is the resource managers prefer most.
Why it helps: Managers don’t have all the answers. If you provide comprehensive FAQs, managers will be open to employees’ questions about the change.
Want to learn more about change communication? Download our e-book, Change communication made easy: How to help employees embrace change.