Communicating change is hard. If employees don’t understand what’s changing and why, they’re unlikely to buy into it. It’s a key reason why 70% of change initiatives within businesses fail.
Developing a clear change communications strategy that explains your vision and the potential benefits, gets key stakeholders onboard and fosters two-way dialogue can be the difference between your programme delivering long-lasting change or falling by the wayside. Here are our top tips for clearly communicating change within your organisation:
Share your vision
Clearly articulate the vision of what your organisation will look and feel like once the change has been implemented. Painting the big picture, and explaining the potential benefits to both the organisation and employees, will help your teams understand where the organisation is heading and why it needs to get there.
Make it easy to engage
Don’t hide the vision and benefits in a lengthy PowerPoint document – your teams don’t have the time nor the attention spans. Change is often complex, so make it simple for your people by keeping your messages short and sweet and looking for opportunities to communicate visually.
Get senior leaders onboard
Set-up meetings with senior leaders across the organisation to explain your programme, it’s benefits and how they can support it. They can help you amplify your communications to their function, and if their support is visible and vocal, their teams will be more likely to buy into what you want to achieve. Make sure you get their EA’s and PA’s onboard too; they often have a huge influence.
Establish a champions network
Employees often trust their peers more than senior leadership. Creating a network of change champions – with representatives from as many of the different functions, locations and roles that make up your organisation as possible – can be hugely beneficial. Holding regular meetings with them allows you to share updates, receive valuable feedback and identify potential issues and roadblocks – as well as helping ensure your communications land with their peers.
Setup a one-stop-shop for info
Create a single spot for people across your business to visit so they want out more about what’s changing. Whether it’s a subsite on your company intranet, or a channel on tools like Teams, Slack, Workplace or Yammer, make sure that it allows two-way communication. If people are able to post questions (and receive answers) and share their concerns or ideas, they’ll be much more engaged.
Communicate early wins
Celebrating early milestones and other wins helps to build a sense of momentum for your project or programme. It will also help to convince your teams that this initiative isn’t just another flash in the pan idea that will eventually fizzle out.
Keep communications relevant
Communicate throughout your programme, but only when you have information to share that’s relevant and timely. If you only need to communicate to a certain segment of employees, don’t send out a mass email to the entire business. If you make too much noise too early, people will have tuned out well before you need them to pay attention.
Consider creating an internal brand
Creating an easily identifiable visual style (that is aligned with your brand guidelines) can help your messages quickly stand out from all the other communications they receive. For Kantar’s Workday implementation, we created a series of shape-based characters to explain how the software would change ways of working for both employees and managers. It was instantly recognisable and delivered amazing results.
At Bundle, we help organisations to clearly explain their strategy and vision with beautiful, bite-sized content that reflects your business, your goals and your brand.
Whether you’re going through a digital transformation, rolling out new tools or ways of working or launching any major change initiative, get in touch and find out how we can help you engage your employees and deliver long-lasting change.