How to Effectively Communicate Change

Change is inevitable, whether it’s an annual shift in seasons or a sudden company restructure, it’s embedded in day-to-day life. While, unfortunately, we cannot control the climate, we can control the implementation of organisational change.  

This means that you might be encouraging a technology-driven workforce, re-engineering a process to ensure regulatory compliance, or following an enterprise-wide transformation central to customer experience.  

Whatever the change might be, it’s important to educate your employees. Did you know? Almost one-third of surveyed employees don’t know why changes are happening. When employees are left in the dark, they tend to invent a story, which is often worse than the change in question.  

While change brings uncertainty for many employees, it’s implemented to aid organisational progression. And with progression, comes objectives. Here are four objectives CoCo employs to effectively communicate change.  

Objective 1: Create a vision 

Communicate change to the workforce using simple, concise language. Those responsible for leading change will share what they know – including what’s changing, when, and how.  

Objective 2: Articulate the “big picture” 

It’s important to accurately articulate the big picture – what employees can expect, why the change is being implemented and how it will positively affect the organisation. Remember to be honest; avoid the use of sugar-coated language and jargon.  

Objective 3: Set clear expectations 

Tell employees exactly what they need to do using a call to action. Outline what needs to be done and when. Make this as clear as possible with bulleted lists, bold fonts, and imagery.  

Objective 4: Engage employees 

It’s important to solicit feedback and engage people in the process. This can be achieved by answering questions and building hype about the future of the company. Consider recognising and rewarding individuals who embrace change.  

Objective one not only communicates the change but ensures employees are working towards the same goal. While vision is the foundation of every effective change campaign, it’s important to enlist employees with a WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) hook. At the end of the day, we’re all looking out for number one, so don’t forget to engage your employees with a list of benefits. 

However, it’s almost impossible to benefit every single employee. A positive change for one person might mean a loss of status or security for another. In that case, you should be prepared for adverse reactions to organisational change. According to the Kubler-Ross Curve Model, there are five stages most people go through in responding to change. These emotions include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 

Are you effectively communicating change? Do your employees need help navigating the curve? If you find yourself at a transition time out, The Vault is a mentoring, coaching and facilitation hub that is readily available to help you move ahead and reap the benefits of organisational change.

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