How To Communicate Unpopular Company Policies: 4 Tips For Leaders
Although your company may have the greater good of employees in mind, any change in company policies may bring out negative reactions, the rumor mill, or some moping and grumbling you aren’t looking forward to.
What are you dealing with?
Whether it’s about opening or closing offices, vaccination requirements, new accountability measures, bonus pay changes, or any other policies that may not be popular with everyone on your team, team leaders like you can influence how well employees accept the news. Apply some well-tested everyday feedback principles to make it easier and less disruptive.
#1 Don’t delay discussing the new policies as soon as you know about them.
Immediately make the effort with your management to get your facts straight, but don’t delay relaying the news to your team members. Any delay will make it more likely that employees will hear about it elsewhere and spread their versions of it in conversations with coworkers. You can minimize disruptions by telling people what you know. If you won’t see the whole group for several days, you should send out an email announcing the main facts of the change and announce a meeting to discuss the changes within two days.
#2 If you yourself disagree with the policies, test out the possibilities for change with your manager right away so you know what’s possible before your meeting.
Don’t spend any time grumbling about your disagreements with management in your conversations with employees. Address your disagreements with your manager and look into actions you can take to change the policies you don’t agree with.
#3 Don’t waver if the policies are clear and the changes will be implemented across the board.
Don’t open the door to confusion. If you know that policies are final, tell your employees honestly. Don’t hold out unrealistic hopes for being able to change or ignore the new policies.
#4 Be a role model for adopting the new policies.
Highlight the positive aspects of the policies and do everything you can to make them work on your team. Use your everyday feedback skills to converse openly and without delay about anything that should come up in the team. Maintain productivity and lead a positive environment in which everyone gives their best and receives the benefits of a great workplace!