The Power of Empathy in Organisational Change

There are times in an organization when the way information is communicated to the employee’s matters more than what is being communicated. Hence, when we speak about the change initiative, lack of empathy while conveying the news about an organizational transformation can lead to failure.  Research shows that most of the leaders agree to the point of communicating the information empathetically if you want a successful organizational transformation.

But most of the leaders don’t know how to communicate empathetically. On the basis of a survey of over 200 leading company executives, almost 69% of respondents said that they were planning to conduct or are currently conducting a change effort. But unfortunately, 50% of them said that they hadn’t fully considered the sentiment of their team about the change. And worse that, about half of them said that they were just approaching the change by “going on gut” feeling.

Being a leader if you want your change initiatives to succeed, you should assure that your entire team is on board with you. The following strategies can you help you better understand your employees’ perspectives.

  • Profile Your Audience at Every Stage.

It’s better to create personas for a various employee before you begin change initiative. But consider evolving wants and needs of the employees throughout the process. To create a particular persona, you can also interview employees from each segment to get a sample perspective on typical mindsets. While interviewing, you can also ask them questions designed in a way to uncover their beliefs, feelings, questions, and concerns about the company’s current strategy. You can ask them if there were any specific changes they hoped management would (or would not) make.

  • Tell them what to expect.

You may need to keep a few facts private during a transition, but the general rule is that the more informed your team is, the more they’ll be able to deal with discomfort. Hence, learn about their specific fears, and then acknowledge them openly.

  • Involve all the members on each level.

A transformation won’t succeed without the involvement of a full team. Ask your team to share their opinions on change. This can help everyone feel like an active participant with something valuable to add. Share with them the complaints/expectations of customers the company receives and ask them how as a team they can solve it. Surely there will be people who won’t give their opinions feeling the conversation to be irrelevant. But ask them to share their views. Encourage them saying that their views and opinions matter. This will make them feel valued and they will surely be back with an answer.

Business practices evolve rapidly, but there’s one thing on which business leaders should always rely – empathetic communication. Develop and show empathy for every individual who is involved in your corporate transition. And you’ll surely lead a team that feels valued, included, and driven to help your initiative succeed.

Written & Compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri.

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