There are many reasons that can lead a company to change: integrating new technologies, legal framework changes (GDPR, etc.), marketing new products or services, implementing new processes, dematerializing, outsourcing certain activities… What do these have in common? All these factors of change require communication that involves all channels and all touchpoints.
When a company embarks on a change management plan, different actors (managers, associates, directors) must all know and understand the expected outcomes, including redefined roles and new practices, regulations, and skills. Indeed, such changes aren’t not only intellectual and theoretical, but also cultural and behavioral. Thoughtful change management is essential to ensure team buy-in and project success. The success of a company change rests most specifically on appropriate communication.
The company must communicate on several levels:
- Explain the change and demonstrate its purpose
- Clarify the final objective
- Reassure stakeholders
- Define the change in concrete terms, detailing what it will change for employees
- Insist on the benefits derived from the change, and invite team members to share their thoughts on the subject
To succeed in each of these stages, it’s crucial to provide frequent, sustained, and varied communication. It’s a question of mobilizing all channels and touchpoints—before, during, and after the change. A word of advice: leverage multiple communication channels. Each of your associates will be more sensitive or reactive to a particular channel, so be careful not to limit communication to just one. Instead, diversify and use each channel to its advantage.
Many channels to leverage
Depending on the change enacted, internal company culture, and tools already in place, a company can:
- Implement working groups.
- Post announcements and flyers in the workplace. Are posters really outdated or dull? Not really. A poster displayed in a busy place can get the word out easily and enhance the distribution of information. Limits: posters are only seen by employees who pass by a particular location. Its content must also be shared on other channels (e.g. email) for it to be seen by everyone.
- Consider dynamic displays. Screens installed in common spaces like cafeterias or break areas have the advantage of being very visible and easily updated to offer content adapted to different periods throughout the change.
- Schedule briefings, ranging from onboarding at the beginning of the process to regular milestones throughout. These meetings can be led by change managers, team managers, or “heroes,” i.e. employees who are familiar with the processes to be modified and are willing to help train their colleagues.
- Offer training courses, as well as tutorials and explanatory videos. This can be done using an e-learning platform or integrating new content onto the company’s intranet.
- Organize workshops dedicated to learning specific skills.
- Use company social networks to lend a more user-friendly tone to discussions. The objective here is not to inform, but rather to discuss and collaborate: ask questions, propose ideas, etc.
- Organize chat sessions with leaders and/or change makers.
- Rely on existing collaborative tools (Teams, etc.).
Workshops and meetings are still essential
Giving meaning to changes promotes team approval and involvement, so don’t forget to collect feedback. In fact, people not only expect to be informed but also like to be able to communicate—to discuss, share their own experiences, and ask questions. Meetings are valuable for both managers and employees, who can easily voice their impressions, or even challenges, with regard to the change.
This means that those leading a change will have to schedule regular meetings to take stock of progress. The ideal is to plan occasions for formal exchange (meetings, workshops, training) and other more informal “water cooler” conversation. It’s up to each company to adapt their own project management and communication plans based on the opinions collected.
A dynamic marketing tool for internal communications
But how do you get teams on board and communicate well when many associates are alternating between working in the office and working from home?
By using one powerful channel: email signatures. A solution like Letsignit assigns a different email signature for messages sent internally and for those sent externally.
The result? A new lever for all corporate subjects—including, of course, change management. You can very easily create a banner to promote updates, news, or workshops relating to your transformation… and give them unparalleled visibility!