Leah Reynolds, Employee Engagement and Communication expert with Buck Consultants, offers employers advice for best practices in addressing employee concerns and implementing changes:
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
And then communicate again! Keeping employees informed and taking time to have thoughtful conversations on an individual basis will keep rumors, misconceptions, and fears from running rampant. A good rule of thumb: When you think you’ve communicated enough, you’ll know you’re about halfway there.
2. Handle Conversations Individually
Recognize that everyone will react differently to the news that they are being reclassified, so be sure to handle each discussion on a personal basis. Be prepared for a possible range of reactions.
3. Prepare Your Employees Now (And Pay Attention to State Laws)
The sooner you can give employees a heads-up about changes that will affect their schedules, job duties, and positions with the company, the better. Nobody likes surprises when it comes to work, and the heads-up will be appreciated.
Keep in mind that in many states, advance notice isn’t just courtesy—it’s required. Laws vary by state and city, so be aware of when and how you’re required to notify your employees of a change in classification, pay, or work duties. Don’t risk a lawsuit.
4. Review Policies
Now is the perfect time to review and reassess your company policies. Are they up to date? Do they meet your current needs? Take the time to communicate and review these policies with employees, especially when it comes to time tracking, expectations around overtime hours, and what’s considered compensable work.