I was recently traveling for work and woke up far earlier than usual – I think it was the novelty of my subconscious not constantly monitoring for the sounds of my children in distress due to nightmares, nosebleeds, or other nocturnal crises.
So I packed up my work, headed to the nearest Starbucks, and settled down with my latte in an unobtrusive corner to hang out until daylight arrived.
I was right near the counter, and I saw a lot of regulars coming in over the course of the next few hours. Apparently some change had been made to the store layout the previous night, after closing (which was completely lost on me, of course, as I’d never been to that particular Starbucks before).
One by one, the regulars came in and gave their orders to the barista. Many of them also mentioned something to the effect of, “So you guys made some changes here, I see!” or “Hey, Gene – new layout looks good.”
And every single time, the barista visibly winced and said, “It was news to me – I didn’t know we were doing this until I came in this morning and it was a done deal. I’m the store manager…you think they would have told me.”
It was clearly a sore spot – and why shouldn’t it be? This man was, as far as I could tell, a longtime employee (and store manager) who had both pride and a sense of ownership in his work – exactly what you want from your employees. He comes in one morning to find everything in his store rearranged, with no notice, and it feels like a slap in the face.
I don’t think the slight was deliberate – it was probably more a case of someone thinking, “Well, this won’t directly affect anything Gene does, so we don’t need to worry about looping him in” (if in fact Gene was considered at all). But it stung nonetheless.
Whenever you make changes at your organization, be they large or small, be sure to consider the feelings of your employees. Overcommunication is far better than no communication – especially if you want your team members to feel highly invested in what they do. And, trust me, you do.