Informed manager at computer

Your organization has a big change to announce to employees. While you need to reach all levels of employees, it’s especially important to focus on managers. After all, managers have the most interaction with employees—and employees rely on managers to answer their burning questions: “What does it mean to me?” and “What do I need to do?”

But often when a change is implemented, managers feel they don’t have what they need to communicate successfully. They’re uninformed and out of touch. As a result, they feel disempowered.

So to be successful, managers need serious help. That means you need to invest your time to make sure that managers have the tools they need to help employees through the change.

Here are 5 ways to get managers ready:

1

Set expectations
Before you begin, define managers’ roles. This will ensure they are prepared for the change and can take control of helping employees.

2

Brief managers first
When you’re rolling out a new program, train managers first. They’ll have the inside scoop and feel knowledgeable enough to answer questions. An efficient way to do this is interactive, web-based meetings.

3

Provide FAQs
Include the tough questions and avoid corporate speak. Ask real questions that employees would ask by testing your FAQs with employees before finalizing. The best FAQs sound like a real person.

4

Create a one-pager
Make it easy for managers to have everything they need by creating a one-page guide that contains all essential information: what is changing, when, why and how. This guide is especially useful for managers to use during one-on-one conversations.

5

Provide a support system
Once you’ve prepared the managers for the change, and the change has happened, you need to set up a system to keep managers engaged and informed. This can be done by:

  • Setting up a forum on the intranet
  • Creating a group on the company’s internal social network
  • Hosting regular check-ins (monthly or quarterly)
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