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Communicating During Org Structure Changes

One of the key steps in ensuring effective contact center restructuring is creating a staff communication plan that meets employees’ emotional needs. Learn how one company used a feedback loop to address staff questions and encourage staff to share feedback

Service organizations are increasingly telling us that they are operating in sub-optimal organizational structures. There are team silos, redundant roles, and multiple contact center sites that are often misaligned with overall company strategies.

To improve the overall effectiveness of their organizational structures, contact center heads are keen on making structural redesigns—ranging from reorganizing channel teams for better collaboration and improving cross-team communication to more large-scale centralization or decentralization projects.

Whatever the scale of restructuring change, even the most well chosen designs can fail to achieve desired outcomes if they are not implemented effectively. And companies often tend to overlook one of the most basic yet critical ways of ensuring an effective transition–a staff communication plan that meets employees’ emotional needs.

Why is such a communication plan important?

When overlooked, inconsistent communication during organizational restructuring often results in staff confusion, apathy, and demoralization. In addition, when companies fail to collect and integrate employee feedback in the change, it sends the message that the company does not value employees’ opinions on the change, which can alienate staff further.

How can companies ensure effective, inclusive communication during organizational change?

Pseudonym company Capri, while undergoing a restructuring, realized that it needed a robust communication plan that made employees feel part of the change. The plan would also enable employees to freely ask questions and provide feedback.

Capri’s plan had the following three elements:

  • Establish senior-led communication: Involve senior leaders (of director level and above) to deliver initial communications to frontline employees in person. To foster an emotional connection with employees, Capri chooses individuals that the frontline employees know or recognize.
  • Provide two-way Q&A opportunity: Ensure that staff have a way to start a dialogue, ask questions, and get satisfactory answers. Capri establishes a question-and-answer loop so senior leaders can answer reps’ individual questions promptly and efficiently.
  • Monitor employee feedback: Constantly gauge employee reactions and collect timely feedback to determine how comfortable employees are with the change and how the change management process should proceed. Capri gathers informal staff feedback through focus groups, informal walk-throughs, and employee surveys.

CEB Members: To learn more about how Capri implemented these three elements of an effective change communication plan, click here.

 

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