CommsMasters Blog

Heather Campbell

Recent Posts

Why You Should Give Your People Control Over Change

I know of a company which moved offices a couple of years ago. The leaders all agreed the move made sense, and it was going to be better for the employees too — in every way except one.

The new office was on a different railway line to the old one. It was probably more convenient for some, but many staff members were now facing a longer commute and a change of trains.

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Why Resistance to Change Can Be Good

"Why aren't the messages working? Why aren't people accepting these changes?"

If your organisation has ever tried to push through a major change, you've probably heard those words — or their equivalent — from your CEO. They're impatient to see the change they've worked so hard to bring about actually happen, and balk at any sign that employees are resistant.

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How to Motivate Your Employees to Change

"People know the truth — that they're literally risking their lives. But we still can't get them to change their behaviours..."

Health & Safety doesn't always get the best press, even when it really is a matter of life and death. Like at this company, involved in heavy industry, where I was talking to the Head of HR. She was exasperated because crucial new safety measures were being ignored.

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How to Reduce Resistance to Change

"But it's not the same as the old place, is it? There just isn't the same atmosphere."

An engineering company that I know had just moved to impressive new offices, far more spacious and stylish than the old ones.

But people were complaining constantly and the employee who made the comment above certainly wasn't alone.

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Is 'Everyday Performance Management' the Future?

"You'd better make this investment worth our while. You're asking us to give up the equivalent of five years of our senior leaders' time to learn how to have better performance conversations. That's a big ask."

I'm not sure I've ever met anyone as sceptical as this director of an engineering firm I worked with a couple of years ago. And I certainly left that particular Board meeting with his words ringing loudly in my ears.

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Do You Secretly Question the Value of Performance Management?

"I've got to let you into a secret. I never liked the whole formal performance management thing – and it's not just because the managers hate me for nagging them about it!"

The Head of HR who made this confession isn't unique.

I've been there myself.

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The Surprising Reason Your People Are Not Resilient

A few years ago, a friend of mine suffered serious stress as her marriage went through a rough patch. She couldn't sleep and couldn't concentrate properly. She began making mistakes at work as well.

To help her get through this difficult period, she decided to give herself frequent opportunities to relax. She treated herself to spa treatments. She made a point of going out for coffee regularly with her friends. And she also joined a meditation class at her local gym and downloaded a meditation app to her phone, so that she could clear her mind daily.

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When Training is the Wrong Answer...

Nothing changed from one annual staff survey to the next.

Every year, the scores around communication were low.

And every year, the answer was the same, as well – put on more training for managers.

By the time I got involved with this company, there was an unbelievable array of communication workshops available for the leadership. There was one on communicating by email, another on leading teams remotely, and still more on delivering staff briefings, coaching, influencing, and running team meetings.

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How to Read Between the Lines of Your Employee Survey Results

A couple of months ago I was chatting to a senior leader, who was telling me how he'd managed to change his company culture.

"You must have communicated well!" I told him admiringly.

"Oh no," he replied. "This wasn't about comms. This was about getting people engaged with ideas and projects, and getting them to feel they can really influence the decisions taken at the top."

I smiled. To me, this all boils down to one thing – communication.

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Annual Performance Reviews: What REALLY Scares Your Leaders

I once worked with a manager who never gave his staff realistic annual performance reviews. Everyone was apparently performing equally well.

Eventually problems began to surface, so the director of HR sat down with him to find out why he hadn't flagged up issues in good time. He claimed that he found it hard to find the right words – "I don't find these conversations easy".

The company invited him and several others to a communications workshop, so that they could become more comfortable handling such difficult conversations.

It didn't help. The next year, his team again received glowing appraisals, across the board.

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