In the age of COVID-19 and beyond, new and expanded policies are likely to be necessary on many levels. Getting everyone to understand and embrace these, particularly the more complex ones, can be challenging. Here are some tips to ensure that these policies are heard, understood, and embraced:
- State the goal and include relevant details. Go over policy particulars, including how this is new or different, what it means to individual roles, what noncompliance looks like, and the timeline involved.
- Adopt a show-and-tell approach. Use white boards or drawing tools, role-playing, and case studies to demonstrate how the policy will work in real life. Employ applicable metaphors and analogies.
- Know when you will need to persuade and not just inform. Particularly if the policy is likely to be controversial or unpopular, determine in advance how you will convince employees that it will benefit them and is in their interest.
- Use precise, technical terms, but only when necessary. Otherwise, use words that will resonate with and be understood by your employees.
- Enlist coworkers as “panelists” to encourage questions. Have a few people prepare questions to start the dialogue.