Hello PPMA and friends,

How often have you heard that the main reason people leave an organisation is because of their line manager? There is another, more positive, side to that coin though, since research also shows that employees are much more appreciative and much more receptive to a message from their line manager than from other parts of the organisation like HR. That shouldn’t surprise us. After all, the line manager is the face of the organisation and whatever we say in our corporate messages, it is the way those messages are delivered by our line managers that will determine whether or not the message gets across.

This of course is even more important in times of change. How many of us have heard stories of line managers who have stood up in front of their team and prefaced their remarks with “I don’t agree with this, but…”?

So, if there are important messages to communicate, then invest some time and effort into making sure that your line managers understand them first. If the issues are clearly understood by the line managers then they will be much more likely to communicate them well to those on the receiving end.

Give your line managers a clear and specific responsibility to support staff communication and engagement through team and individual discussions. Help them to do that by holding face to face briefings with them. This will give them the opportunity to discuss the changes amongst themselves and to understand the issues and implications. Much more effective than a written briefing that they are expected to read and then deliver!

Share key communications with the line managers in advance of releasing the messages more widely, to give them time to prepare for their part in ensuring their teams are engaged. Support them by having well prepared material available for them to give to their teams. And make sure they have somewhere to go with the questions no one had thought of in advance-there will always be a few of those!

Next week, the PPMA Blog will be in the capable hands of our very own PPMA vice President, Martin Rayson, as I am off to Fuerteventura, volcanic ash permitting! If like me you are bound to school half terms, have a good week off. For those of you free from the constraints of school holidays, enjoy the last bank holiday of the season and the quiet roads for the rest of the week!

Anne