Organizational Changes – Introducing New Managers, Part 2

This post continues a series discussing the handling of some major organizational changes at my company.

Delivering the good news to our internally promoted managers and new hires was the easy part.  Now it was time to take on the more challenging portion of our structured communication plan:

  • Deliver the bad news to the candidates we didn’t select
    This was the hardest part.  We had four internal candidates who, as noted in a previous post, are very good at their jobs, but weren’t selected for the manager roles.  For each one, we had a conference call with Rene, myself, and, in a few cases, Jan (the retiring VP of Services).  We had agreed that I would deliver the disappointing news, explaining clearly and concisely why we had chosen the candidates we had.  I also committed to have a follow-up one-on-one call with each candidate, explaining in more detail what the strengths and weaknesses of their interviews had been.

    Each of these calls went relatively well.  Naturally, all of the employees were disappointed – each of them had hoped to be chosen.  [That’s fairly obvious – why else would they have applied and interviewed?!]  I was direct (without being mean) about where they had interviewed strongly, where they could improve, and how they could be successful in interviewing for similar positions in the future.  Overall, I think that our open and honest process helped alleviate some of the disappointment.

  • Inform all employees of their new manager
    For each consultant currently reporting to Jan or Rene, we organized a one-on-one call to inform that employee of the changes we were making.  Most importantly, each employee learned in that one-on-one call who would be his or her new manager.  This was especially important – no one should learn that sort of information indirectly.
  • Announce the changes to the entire company
    Once all of the people who were directly affected knew what was happening, we were able to announce the changes to the entire company.  This was pretty easy – I drafted an email that provided some background information on the new organizational structure. I announced (and congratulated) the new managers and concluded the message by listing everyone on the team, organized by manager in the new reporting structure.

With that message sent, we were done with this major part of our reorganization.  One big task remained: fill the General Manager position with Jan’s replacement.

For now…I’ll leave you with this thought:

Employees should always learn about managerial changes that affect them through direct one-on-one communication.

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