CFOs are well aware that employees generally don’t like change – especially when it challenges the status quo or modifies a policy they’ve grown accustomed to.
So, when your finance team has new policies ready to go into effect, it can be tough to get everyone through the transition stress-free. People will naturally be skeptical. Many will have questions and concerns.
But with effective communication, you can make these transitional situations run smoother.
Check out some pointers from business and tech blog KnowTechie on how to get your employees on board with finance policy changes:
1. Lead with the benefits for them
When your team’s making a policy change, other employees may tend to focus on how this change is going to cause confusion or complicate their jobs. To soften the blow, start the conversation in a positive light. Have your team look at it from others’ perspectives and see what elements of the new policy they would consider a positive thing.
Example: If you switch payments software, purchasers might not be thrilled about having to learn a new system. But what do purchasers like? Getting their products or services fast. So, if you give them a step-by-step breakdown of how it’ll allow them to submit P.O.s and get their products faster, they may come around more quickly.
2. Explain the reasoning
Many employees won’t be happy with just knowing the basics. That means your team needs to provide a solid “why” along with the “what.” Even if employees are upset with the changes, they’ll better understand why the new policies were necessary if they have all the information.
Example: If travelers have been frivolous and pushing T&E limits, you may need to institute a policy with more severe consequences for out-of-policy spend. Cue the grumbling! But if during this announcement you show concrete data that proves how spend has gotten out of hand lately, employees won’t be able to grumble as much. The truth is front and center, and they’ll at least be able to understand where the change is coming from.
3. Ask for feedback
Employees may have a lot of opinions about the changes and will feel the need to express them. So, make sure they know that you’re open to their ideas and feedback. This has two big benefits: Employees’ comments could turn out to be very helpful, and they’ll feel respected and valued knowing you want to hear from them.
Example: After you finish relaying your new policy for timekeeping, share how you’ll be accepting feedback. You could host a Q&A session directly after, email employees a survey to fill out or block off time for individual meetings.