Effective communication is essential in any organisational change process. Without clear and open communication, employees feel insecure and uninvolved about the planned changes. This uncertainty may make them resistant to the planned changes and create change resistance. This insecurity, and the resulting rejection of change, can lead to reduced productivity and morale. If too many employees develop a negative attitude towards the planned change, the change cannot be successful. Therefore, it is important to develop an appropriate communication strategy for each change process.
This should be based on the following elements:
One pillar for communication during a change process is transparency. If employees feel that they are kept informed and that the organisation is open and honest with them, they are more likely to trust and support the changes made. Even if things are not going ideally, it makes sense to communicate this transparently, because employees will find out about it through gossip anyway. Withholding important information can lead to a loss of trust. This must be avoided at all costs.
Instead of just providing one-off announcements right at the start of the change, it is important to consistently provide employees with information about the change and how it will affect them. It is best to start the initial announcements as early as possible and include regular updates on the progress of the change from there on. Even challenges or setbacks that may arise are worth communicating to generate employee understanding.
Effective communication during a change process should include two-way dialogue. This means that employees can ask questions, raise concerns and give feedback. By listening to their input, organisations can address emerging issues during implementation and make necessary adjustments to the change process or solution. The two-way dialogue also ensures that users feel heard and included. Having even a small influence on the process makes many employees feel secure. (Of course, there are exceptions, but I will not mention them in this post).
Multiple channels of communication
For the perfect change process, it is important to use multiple communication channels to ensure that different types of employees have access to information through their preferred communication channels. This can include email, company-wide meetings, newsletters, face-to-face meetings or even social media such as Yammer or Viva Engage. Using multiple channels ensures that all staff have access to the same information and can keep up to date with changes made. Also, the principle is that it is better to communicate once too often than too little.
Summary: Effective communication is the key to the success of any change process. Through transparency and continuous communication with employees, companies can build trust and this paves the way for the change to be implemented smoothly and accepted by all.