Earlier this week, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships were decided at the end of two thrilling tournaments. But before the tip-off of March Madness comes Selection Sunday, when the schools learn whether they are in or out of the tourney.
Within moments of the final selections being announced, the analysis begins about which teams made it and which teams didn’t. For teams that won’t be playing in the Big Dance, they are left to wonder why – and may never find out for sure.
In organizations, it’s critical that whenever a selection is made – a key hire or selection to a high-profile project – that we communicate to those who were selected and those that weren’t. Here are five tips for ensuring that you don’t leave questions unanswered when making your selection.
1. Use face-to-face or voice-to-voice channels. Don’t simply send an email to a person or a group when they’ve been selected to join your team or lead a key initiative. If you’re announcing a new marketing executive, take time to meet with the entire department – in person or by conference call – to explain why the person was hired and what they’ll focus on. Encourage and answer Q&A.
2. Explain the reasoning behind their selection. When the time comes to name a leader of a product re-launch or major change initiative, sit down with the person you selected and outline the reasons behind them being tapped for the role. Emphasize specific experience, know-how or leadership traits that brought them to the forefront of candidates.
3. Outline next steps. Set clear expectations for the person you’ve selected. Or, if you’re the person who was selected, and you don’t get this type of direction, ask: What should I be doing next? Are the materials I should read or meetings I should attend? Clear direction helps everyone get off on the right foot.
4. Set a schedule for communication. If you’re making a major announcement you don’t want leaks. Nor do you want the embarrassment of someone unwittingly announcing a key selection or hire in a meeting or hallway conversation. To avoid these common pitfalls, set clear timing for announcements – and let all key stakeholders know who will know and when they will know it.