Every major industry today is in a state of disruption. Change has never been more inevitable. According to Wired, “68 percent of C-level executives expect their industry to be significantly disrupted by new technology-led innovations in the next three years.”
However, change is not a four-letter word, and often change accelerates business. The way change is perceived within your organization has everything to do with how you communicate with your employees and key stakeholders. Many organizations disregard the crucial step of keeping their own employees in the loop, much to their own detriment. Your employees are your ambassadors!
When leaders share what’s next, employees feel empowered and engaged.
More and more Rhudy & Co. has been asked to help lead change communications for Fortune 500 and national nonprofits. We excel in this because we bring expertise, an authentic voice and attention to detail that is next to none.
Along the way, here are five best practices we’ve learned:
1. Remember confusion is the enemy of positive change. Start with key messages. You don’t want your leaders to all sound like they’re reading the same script, but inconsistency is confusing. Sharing clear and concise messages they can use and personalize helps everyone to know the facts and where the company is going.
2. Don’t let people write their own story. In the absence of information, they will create their own story. And usually, it’s not a good story. So, be as honest and transparent as possible. People, especially employees, know when you’re being inauthentic or inconsistent.
3. Create a timeline, then plan. Determine the best timing to cascade information so everyone feels in the know.
4. Draft a communications plan. Then, ensure everyone knows his or her part. If the change has a big announcement, create custom communication packets for each executive with all the information he or she will need for announcement day.
5. Share in person when possible. Whether it’s a town hall, a special event or team huddles, real conversations are always better than emails. Recently, we had a client who made dozens of phone calls to key stakeholders — a huge win on the day of a big announcement.