Change communication is a leader’s most important tool
When big strategic visions need to be rolled out and change needs to be driven through in companies, successful communication from the leadership team can be critical to the success of the process. This is why change communication is the most important tool for leaders to achieve change in the workplace.
Successful change communication starts with WHY and HOW
Change communication is a difficult discipline that places high demands on the entire management team. But when change communication works, it can lift the whole business and boost company performance.
The secret to success in change starts with understanding your organisation’s readiness for change. At People & Performance, we believe that successful change communication starts with the leader’s ability to communicate WHY and HOW.
1. Learn to communicate WHY
Change communication is about thorough preparation and starts in the leadership team. When your company is going through a change process, it is crucial that your leadership communication is consistent, and that the leadership team is able to communicate the why of the change to the employees.
Without thorough preparation for change, you as a manager lose the whole basis of the change plan to ensure that you navigate your company safely and in control through the change.
Why it is important for the management team to prepare for change
Uncertainties and inconsistencies in management communication create uncertainty among employees. In the worst case, it can lead to outright resistance among employees. Therefore, successful change communication requires thorough preparation.
Through thorough preparation, the management or steering group achieves a common understanding of the scope, process and impact of the change. For example, if the scope of the change is not agreed upon by the leadership team, there is a risk that leaders will not clearly communicate the same change story across the organisation and will not put the same effort into pushing the change forward.
It is poison for the change process if the members of the management group communicate differently. A successful preparation process not only provides guidance and direction – it also ensures common understanding within the management team.
2. Learn to communicate HOW
When your company is going through a change process, you – as a leader – need to prepare to communicate how the change is going to happen.
In a busy day, it can be a long way from the vision of management to the reality of employees. If everyone is to buy into the change project, it is therefore important that employees know how to relate to the process.
In your management communication, you should therefore focus on communicating how the change will take place and what kind of involvement you want from your employees.
How to prepare for a change process
The foundation of all successful change communication is a company’s readiness to change.
An assessment of the organisational change readiness, also called a Change Readiness Assessment, can give you a picture of what your organisation thinks it lacks in terms of undergoing change – from a strategic to an operational level.
Do you lack the necessary knowledge about the change process? Is there too little involvement? Is the leader’s ability to lead the company through the change questioned?
These are the answers to some of the questions that can help you understand where and how you can take action, while developing a change plan tailored to your organisation.
Communicating change without a one-size-fits-all approach
When it comes to change communication and processes in general, we know that a “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work during changes.
What works is a more situational approach. It is about addressing and dealing with the concerns and doubts of all stakeholders.
Successful change is more about dynamic processes than fixed habits.
Transition from change management to leading change
People & Performance has been working with change management for over 15 years and in this guide we provide a review of what lies behind the concept and answer some of the most relevant questions about change management.
We are each on the ground at both Danish and international companies, training their leaders to manage change.
Strengthen your leadership communication with a tailored leadership development programme
If your company is facing a major change, we can help you navigate safely through the process and strengthen your leadership communication.
At People & Performance, we run leadership development programmes for leaders at all levels. The purpose of our tailor-made leadership programmes is to develop you as a leader. Our training programmes are tied to research and all our consultants have years of experience. This is your guarantee of a leadership development programme that works in practice.