"People understood why," he says. "We presented a clear business case for making the changes. Employees heard the same message several times. It wasn't watered down and they got the information."
Experts say such a super-informative method, delivered by those in key leadership positions, is the best way to approach employees with benefits changes. While companies may not have months to prepare, communicate and make benefits changes, they still should make a thorough presentation.
Here are some additional communication takeaways:
- Maintain a long-term focus. Planning (e.g. strategic, contingency, repurchase obligation, succession, employee communications) is more important than ever.
- An organizational commitment (both time and resources) to open communications and transparency is essential. No surprises.
- Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other and is important in communicating key decisions and building relationships.
- Be straightforward and empathetic. Explain what you are doing and why. Maintain a positive attitude. Don't sugar coat things.
- Your key leaders should be communicating major changes.
- Communicate changes in phases when possible.
- Overcommunicate. Never assume workers understand. Tell the story or your employees will tell it for you.