Good communication is critical to the success of any type of change in the workplace. When everyone is on the same page in terms of new operations or processes, the chances of developing trust, boosting motivation, and ensuring success are much higher. Internal communication is important any time an organization undergoes a structural shift or launches a new business model or solution. Without strong change management communication, new initiatives often fail.
By following best practices, businesses can learn to communicate more effectively and better navigate change while remaining productive. Consider the following change management communication practices when making changes in the workplace.
1. Develop and Distribute Informational Guides
Not all employees respond to communication the same way. Many workers may fail to really take in the information that is given to them verbally, perhaps in a staff meeting setting, resulting in poor understanding of the changes to come. Written content is often more digestible and can be taken in at a rate that is comfortable for each individual employee. Ideally, organizations should develop and distribute information guides that clearly explain the reasons for the change and how employees may be affected in the coming days, weeks and months. Have these materials highly visible in a common area where workers can gain access to them as needed.
2. Open Up a Line of Communication
After hearing about changes through oral communication and written materials, employees may have questions about the future of the company and their role. It is important to have managers available for employees to speak to and discuss any concerns or problems that they may encounter along the way. These internal communicators should create opportunities for business leaders to engage in open discussion. By opening up a line of communication between employees and management, everyone can remain up-to-date with changes and feel comfortable with the amount of knowledge they’re receiving from management..
3. Share Employee Anecdotes that Support Change
It is normal for some employees to be hesitant about new changes being implemented in the workplace. While these changes may result in a change of roles or responsibilities, employees should know and understand that these changes are for the betterment of the organization. Business leaders can help encourage acceptance of changes by sharing employee anecdotes that demonstrate a support for change. Taking the time to explain how these changes align with company values and how they will result in growth and success for the organization is always time well spent.
4. Get Everyone Involved in Decision-Making
It is not enough for just a few select people to make all of the important decisions about changes within the company. As these changes are likely to affect the workplace as a whole, it is often necessary to include professionals from all departments in the decision-making process. Gather team members from public relations, marketing and human resources to assist in creating communication documents, strategies and initiatives. The more people involved in the process, the more successful the initiative is likely to be in the end. Remain open to feedback from everyone involved, and really take in the ideas and strategies that are given by team members.
5. Use a Variety of Communication Methods
When it comes to change management communication, the more ways a message can be communicated to the masses, the better. Do not rely on just one form of communication when it comes to important information. Try to use several different methods to ensure that everyone receives the message in a way that best gets their attention. In addition to technology-based communications, such as emails, organizations can communicate face-to-face via small group meetings, one-on-one sessions, team meetings, focus groups or video conferences. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all form of communication as everyone takes in information differently.
6. Continue to Monitor Communications
Do not make the mistake of giving out information and assuming that is enough to ensure full adoption of the change initiative. It is crucial to continually monitor and evaluate communications to understand whether or not they are effective. If it’s determined that communications are failing, stop and reevaluate. There may be a more effective option for communicating that is better tailored to your unique workplace.
Inquire About Change Management Consulting
Having a healthy change management communication strategy helps ensure that any organizational changes are implemented smoothly and that the end goal is achieved. As change management communication can be a tough subject to navigate, many modern businesses rely on change management consulting services to help them through the process. Contact Hartman Executive Advisors for more information about change management communication best practices or to inquire about professional change management consulting services.