What is change communication?

Change communications is the spread of information to tell employees what is changing, how this change will affect them, and what they need to do next. It helps people move forward from where they currently are, to the new situation required of them.

Change communication is communicating a mindset of change and not just a tool to introduce new ways of working and structural adjustments. Change communications differ from the general internal communication definition in that has a strong emotive element, which is needed to overcome the natural resistance and denial of change associated with change management. The purpose of change communication is to provide communication that requests positively actions on an emotional level.

The elements of change communication

There are eight change communication essentials that will help you to manage change effectively and successfully.

1. Ensure that your communication channels are in place

Ensure that all your communication channels are in place so that your employees can receive and send messages in a way that they feel comfortable with. This is how you reach all the employees in the change management process.

2. Deliver real-time communication when needed

Make sure that can instantly reach all the employees in a time of crisis. This is particularly important to prevent harmful gossip from circulating. By ensuring everyone receives the same message at the same time, you will stop the rumour mill before it gets going.

3. Update the employees regularly

In the absence of communication, employees will fill the void themselves. Beware of letting your communications fall by the wayside in favour of restructuring or another form of change. Schedule regular, consistent news updates and keep your workforce fully informed. This will also ease the anxiety caused by silence or misinformation.

4. Provide easy access to information

Making important documentation readily available is essential when there are constant changes to processes, procedures, structure and technology. You need to do this to ensure that everyone is fully informed and on board.

5. Raise the engagement levels

By giving employees the ability to get involved in the adjustments going on around them you instantly raise engagement levels. Employees need to feel part of the change, rather than subject to it. Create channels and forums for employees to participate, and give ideas and opinions during the change management process.

6. Feedback channels are important

When morale is low, provide free-flowing channels for feedback. Make it easy for employees to speak their minds and let you know what they are thinking. Use an internal communication survey to explore the impact of the change.

7. Remember the remote workers

When your workforce is operating remotely, it is more important than ever to communicate essential dates and events. We tend to forget to schedule calendars with important dates to keep them updated in the change management process.

8. Create a culture of recognition

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Employee goodwill is your lifeline during the change management process. The most effective way to encourage positive feelings across the workforce is with public praise and recognition. This not only works for the employee receiving praise, but also for staff witnessing the appreciation.

#changemanagement #effective communication #internalcommunication

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