Communication is essential during change

Communication is essential during change

A lack of communication can make organisational change difficult and painful. Even with communication, there needs to be consistency, regularity and platforms to be provided for stakeholders to clarify their doubts. Therefore it is important for the communication strategy to be devised at the beginning of a change project, if possible.

There are articles written about overcommunication during change management and also research conducted on how repetition of messaging helps to drive and reinforce certain core messages (Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Pearson) Why is this important? To achieve stakeholder buy-in at as many layers and as much as possible. Stakeholder involvement is what makes or breaks a change project and it is ideal to achieve this at the start of the change process.

Consistency helps to then further convince employees during the transformation process which sometimes may take up to six months or longer. Line managers may deviate from the change-objectives with operational work and this would then lead to their teams being confused or frustrated. With consistent and regular communication from the change-team, it keeps the organisation on track.

Lastly, communication is two-way. The organisation must provide platforms for its stakeholders to provide feedback, clarify their doubts, deconflict any frustration. These platforms can be in a more formal setting of townhalls and meetings, or decentralised to allow line managers to be mentors where discussion is less formal and on a smaller scale. Use these opportunities to also celebrate small wins. Positive reinforcements encourage and inspire proactiveness and commitment which should help achieve the 'tipping point' for change projects to succeed.

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