Ditching Appraisals – Step 8 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

With the best will in the world, you will never rid your company of its appraisal system unless you follow my mantra of Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!

You’ve embarked on a major mission to make a significant change to the way your business and its employees work, and now you need to start the charm offensive.  Having a strong communication strategy throughout the rest of the projects is critical to your team’s success in delivering against its goal.

If you don’t tell people what’s going on, and why its happening, they’ll make up their own story, and it won’t be anywhere close to what you want them to be discussing around the water-cooler.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With any communication strategy, you must try to put yourself in the shoes of the audience; your audience is not comprised of clones!  Different groups of people at different levels of the organisation will want to know different things and will have different concerns.

Don’t be afraid to use multiple channels of communications.  Look at the merits of each channel, and use it appropriately.  Personally, I’d avoid the group-wide email.  Communication is a two-way street, after all.  Remember, you are not trying to sell a new approach at this point, merely explaining what’s going on, what you see as the failings of the existing system and your initial design thoughts.  You want feedback here so that you can build positively on your design with some indication that it will be successful.

You should also be thinking about how different people will react to the impending change.  There’s plenty of reference material out there that describes the emotional roller-coaster associated with change!

Alongside the communication strategy, you should also be thinking about how you will deliver training in the use and application of the new strategy.