Communication, the third stage of a successful change management strategy, is essential to enacting long-lasting and successful change in a business or other organization. In order for all employees at every level of an organization to understand and accept the vision and objectives of the changes ahead, members of management must make those visions and objectives clear. Without effective, frequent and authentic communication, successful and long-lasting organizational change is unlikely. The following methods, messages and mechanisms should help to achieve successful change management processes and long-term results.
The Different Methods for Organizational Communication
Most change management consulting experts advise communicating with team members at least once a week, although more frequent communication may be necessary during complex periods of organizational transition. There is more than one way to communicate with employees, though, and it is rare to see an organization that only uses one of these methods at all times. Some methods may be more appropriate than others depending on the occasion, the complexity of the information, the audience, the importance of the message and other factors. If your organization is going through a big transition, just consider all the methods that you have to choose from for all of your change-related communications:
Internal memos (via paper, email, etc.)
Booklets and leaflets
Posters, bulletin boards and postings in break rooms or cafeterias
Demonstrations and presentations
Meetings (for specific departments and/or the entire organization)
Individual meetings and one-on-one training sessions
Group training courses
“Brown Bag” lunches
“Frequently Asked Questions” (distributed via email, website, flyer, PDF, etc.)
The Right Message and the Right Person (or People) to Deliver It
In most cases, a top leader within a company communicates the “change” messages during an organizational transition. It is usually either a direct supervisor or the CEO/president that communicates messages regarding the transition. In most cases, messages about the overarching visions, goals and motivations are delivered by an executive-level manager, while supervisors are more likely to deliver messages that directly affect specific employees or teams. Investing in change management services is advisable at this point, as it will ensure a much smoother and more effective delivery of the right messages to the right people and groups at the right time. Messages about the change, and how that change is going to impact employees, must be delivered clearly and effectively in order to ensure the kind of long-lasting change organizations are looking for.
Geoffrey Lewis is a Vice President and the leader of Paragon’s Corporate & Enterprise consulting practice for Life Sciences. In this role, Geoff builds and retains relationships with client executives, and acts as a key advisor to those executives, project sponsors and key decision makers. Geoff’s career spans over 20 years of experience developing and operationalizing strategies, increasing revenues, and improving operational efficiencies for Fortune 500 organizations across diverse industries. Geoff holds a Graduate Certificate in Business Management from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Australia.