It takes a little help for leaders to lead

27 May, 2019

Employees expect to be briefed by their managers, particularly when it comes to transformation or change of any kind. For example if they are meant to be adopting new ways of working, using new tools and processes, developing new skills and capabilities, or – the latest trend – shifting the culture towards ‘more empowered individual contributors’.

However, instead of tailoring the message specifically to their teams, line managers often simply cascade ‘one size fits all’ communications crafted by centralized departments.

How should employees know how to reach the envisaged goal, if their managers can neither explain the Why nor the How, because they talk generic management speak?

Tailoring your change messages to make them meaningful for employees requires solid craftsmanship. Delivering the messages needs preparation, a solid plan, and presentation or negotiation training. (That’s particularly true if several teams need to be briefed). Most important is getting prepared for (critical) questions, comments and push-back.

Well-presented, customized arguments which are relevant for a specific team do not ‘dilute the core message’ or ‘subvert the intended outcome’. They strengthen the company messages, and help employees to take them on board.