Why communicating change is so important for the new HR leader

Featured, Strategy, Resourcing

Effectively communicating change is crucial within the first 100 days of a new senior HR role. Here are the steps to follow when outlining your plans.

‘Change’ is constant, and in the context of assuming a new senior HR role, it’s expected. As a chief custodian of the workforce and all it entails, you’ll be on the frontline of communicating change and fuelling growth through your people strategy.

However, devising communication plans and building alliances involves a fair amount of strategic thinking.

The following steps cover what to do once you’ve created your initial workforce and HR function strategies. They will help you effectively relay how your newly developed programmes of work will have long-lasting and positive results.

(This article forms part of a series taken from ‘Your First 100 Days – HR Edition’).

Get your message out there

Share widely, share often and stay positive. It will be natural for some colleagues to fear, or at least question, change. So, focus on the benefits and how necessary support and training will be provided for any new initiatives.

Listen to any concerns you hear along the way and establish feedback mechanisms to capture regular input. Modify plans when required.

This may sound defeatist, but the power of empathy, resilience and adaptability cannot be underestimated, especially throughout this initial 100 days.

Another key message here is to reinforce your collective approach. Disconnect from the detail and emphasise that the delivery of your plan will be a team effort that will have far-reaching benefits for the business.

Empower and educate

The first 100 days will be hectic. But to put a more positive spin on this, think about how you can empower others and leverage their experience to communicate and drive change. Your HR team will be the natural first port of call.

  • Lead alongside others. Put your most able colleagues on the same pedestal so that you’re not a lone voice of influence.
  • Meet with your team 1-1 and set expectations.
  • Rally and challenge your team to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.

Guidance:

Being a strong communicator is important but arguably the ability to effectively listen is even more so. Don’t assume you have all the answers, or that everyone will be on board with your suggestions. Be open to challenges to your opinions and ready to counteract pushback.

Team up, power up

As mentioned throughout ‘Your First 100 Days – HR Edition’, forming alliances is an integral part of the role.

By now you'll have identified circles of influence and ingratiated yourself to those in prominent positions.

Consider how you can flesh out and activate these partnerships to drive growth and business performance. Many similar guides will pinpoint the importance of your relationship with the Chief Finance Officer.

Building a close relationship with the CFO is certainly desirable. They will likely recognise the link between an effective workforce strategy and increased business performance. Take a few steps in their shoes and learn the language of finance so that you can outline the value of investing in HR.

Here’s a few more tips for maximising these new-found relationships:

  • You cannot do it alone. No-one is an island. Sell the value of bonding and networking to the rest of your team. Encourage your HR colleagues to form strategic alliances with their cohorts in Marketing, Finance etc.
  • Give everyone a stake in success. Securing active buy-in for HR initiatives will enable you to transfer ownership to other senior leaders and their teams. Thereby affording them their own responsibility for activation, results, and success.

Want more guidance?

The content for this blog has been taken from ‘Your First 100 Days – HR Edition’. Get the guide to gain more insight into navigating your initial orientation. 

Here's to your continued success!

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