Whenever change is initiated in a company, a good change management communication strategy is required for a successful change-management process. For a company, it is essential to develop effective communication strategies to define the reasons of change, the benefits that it is going to provide and proposed effect on employees. This communication strategy must be maintained throughout the period of change management program.
Defining Your Change Management Communication Strategy
1. Keep The Message Simple!
Most business organizations have deeper meaning behind their existence. Their meaning often tends to influence the decision making capabilities of managers at all levels. This may not be well communicated to employees, which can leave in great jeopardy. Whether it is the purpose or core belief, it doesn’t matter what you call it, but what matters is that how you communicate them. Communicating about the change management process should be simple, understandable and have your employees care more about the company, rather than their own self. A simple and an inspiring message should help them relate to the situation. Strategy-specific messages directing the purpose will work as effective tools to help employees connect with the growing aspirations of the company.
2. Build Behavior On The Basis Of Market Insights
For employees to understand and comprehend correctly to how your strategies are different and better than your competitors, they should be made aware of market realities. The basic challenge is to see how effectively you convey those realities to your employees so they can act upon them in a crucial way. By building internal learning campaigns based on customer and market insights, you can easily bring your change management communication strategy to life for your employees. It is important to package the content in a way that can be shared with all departments in the organization, but in hands-on way.
Make your managers aware of the market trends first and then provide them with easy to implement formats to bring their teams together. The basic purpose is to encourage the teams to come up with department-specific responses, generate new ideas and implement behaviors on the basis of their learning.
3. Think Broader And Don’t Disappear
Often corporate change management communication strategy has strictly top-notch approach. It has been observed that all CEOs usually work according to their text book knowledge. But, it is important to understand that when it comes to change management, it is important to work at the grassroot level as well. Employees tend to believe their leaders more when they can relate to them and hear same arguments from their peers. This often leads to more persuasive and engaging discussions, giving effective outcome.
It is recommended to designate a team trained to serve as ambassadors who will be responsible for delivering all the important messages at different levels in the organization. It is also important to rotate the group annually to involve more people who can represent the change management communication strategy inside the company. In addition to this, when important messages come from leadership, make they are from most visible and well-regarded leaders. They should be an integral part of the daily routine of the teams or departments that they are asked to lead.
4. Put On Your “Thinking” Hat
Best thing is to communicate the change management process is to take off your “executive” hat and put on the “thinking” one. You should be able to find the communication methods that can leave your people inspired with every piece of communication. Communication in the 21st century demands something that is real and easily understood. Using diplomatic phrases or acts will not help you in any way. Corporate speak is something that s not easily acceptable these days and thus, it is important to get in the shoes of your employees and make them understand the company’s aspirations and future plans.
5. Be a Storyteller
Facts and figures are never remembered, but stories leave an everlasting impact. Use storytelling when communicating the change management process. It helps you connect with employees in personal way. Quote examples from your real life experiences and make people understand the significance of shortfalls in life. Ask other employees to share their stories as well. Use them to create a solid foundation for dialogues that can foster high level of understanding of behaviors that you’d like to encourage and enhance. Collectively, storytelling and conversations will be strong influence on culture-building behavior that relates to core purpose and strategic goals.
6. Use 21st-Century Media
The delivery mechanism of your communication process is important and you must make use of 21st century media technology to share. Most corporate communication methods have yet not been seriously dusted off and the fact is that these people communicate the change tremendously in the last five years. Consider the roles of networking, social media, games and blogs to get the word out in a way that you think your employees will appreciate and pay attention to.
7. Make The Necessary Investment
Most executives and managers recognize the significance of having their employee audience. Employees make the largest asset to any company. So, it is important to communicate directly. You should be willing to invest per employee to help them understand and determine what they need to create a positive shift in culture and increase the performance. Your employees should be aware of what’s going in the organization, but not through any other medium.
With innovative techniques and implementing the right change management communication strategy, you can easily develop a few principles in the company for employees and managers. Communicate them through business seminars, informal training sessions or education classes. You may also consider using a third-party service for handling some major change management communication process to create better impact.
In conclusion, proper understanding of your company’s existing culture, work structure, as well as strategic-orientation will enables the change manager to determine the right implication methods for change initiative. On the basis of your understanding, you should be able to design a change management communication strategy along with responsible stakeholders, and focus on better implementation of it.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, and on Google+. Sharing is always appreciated.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.