Now This Is How You Announce Your Next Change Initiative: A Lesson from an IG Influencer
An IG influencer I follow announced yesterday that the thing she built her platform on, is going away. She’s changed, and the “thing” no longer suits her lifestyle.
She posted a video to explain what the change was, why it needed to happen, and even showed us the actual change event. She was nervous, very nervous, realizing she may lose thousands of followers, who were only there because of the “thing.”
At the end of the video, she said she understood if people left, but the comments from her followers were filled with encouraging words. The one that caught my eye in particular said, “It’s definitely a change but we’re not going anywhere.”
Truth is, a whole bunch of people had already stopped engaging because she was no longer posting about the “thing.” But her emotion-filled announcement full of nervousness and stress, will keep us rocking with her for a while.
Of course I couldn't help but think about how this relates to change communications in the workplace. She poured her heart out to tens of thousands of people she's never met personally, to announce a change to which followers responded, "Hey, we get it," and "You have to do what's right for you." What happens if leaders also display some emotion, and not just send cold thoughtless communications about a change that’s coming? To take a lesson from an IG influencer, you’re likely to get more buy-in for the change if you do. And buy-in is what you both need and want in order to move forward.
Here's what a change announcement, coming from you, might sound like, "I've gone back and forth about whether this was the right change to make, and/or if it's the right time." "I've thought long and hard about how this might impact you and your families..."
Just keep in mind that your employees want to know that this change matters to you too. That it’s not just some flighty decision that was made in the moment, but rather, an idea you've wrestled with for some time.
Bottomline is, be thoughtful when you announce that change. Doing so will get you way more buy-in than sending a, "Hey, by the way, we're changing," communication ever will.