When you start to plan for how you’re going to tackle the change, take a look and really understand how big this change is to your organization — is this small or really huge, complete re-tooling kind of stuff. What state is the organization in? How much change can be tolerated at one time?
If the change you’re trying to drive has an aggressive deadline and the scope is big, recognize that you will likely be overloading people in their daily lives. This may have to happen, but acknowledge that there will be a significant dip in employee satisfaction and you will lose people and lose productivity. Make sure that your plan has some method of compensating for this. If you think that your people are going to remain completely productive in their current roles at the same time that you’re throwing a significant change at them, let’s just say you’re being very optimistic!
The communication in this situation is going to be crucial. The impacted parties will have to receive hyper-communication — make sure they know exactly what is happening, to the minute detail, so that they don’t have to spend a lot of time checking for understanding with each other to really feel comfortable that they’ve understood what this means to them. Leave no room for interpretation in what you are telling them. This can help to mitigate the loss of focus while they internalize and process how the change is impacting them.
We all need time to understand and adjust to what is happening to us. Make this as easy as possible for your people by being very open and up-front about what is changing. It will serve you well in the long run.