Communication: The Secret Sauce for Successful Change Management
Communication is the leading indicator of the success of a change management project. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, business transformations are eight times more likely to succeed if senior managers communicate openly with their entire organization.
The most common mistake we see in change management is a lack of communication. Failing to communicate effectively with your marketing team causes unnecessary delays and creates oppositional stakeholders. It can also cause internal office drama that negatively impacts your team on a daily basis.
Having excellent messaging is particularly important with marketing teams because they are in the business of crafting and parsing messages. This means your team will be more likely to identify and dismiss messaging that’s inauthentic or poorly executed.You need to nail your communication the first time around to get your team’s continued support.
We’ve compiled a list of our best practices for keeping your stakeholders informed and engaged with your project:
1. Create Continuous Feedback Loops
After gathering initial feedback throughout the Team Buy-In stage, create continuous feedback loops to collect information on an ongoing basis. Feedback loops can take many forms including a dedicated email, open office hours, or scheduled meetings where stakeholders can ask questions and share opinions. The most important aspect is that these loops are made up of action, real-time information, and reaction.
This will enable your project to respond to operational difficulties, organizational changes, and general feedback with speed and agility. It will also show stakeholders that you value their insights and feedback strengthening their buy-in as they see their ideas support and enhance the program.
2. Be Strategic
Organize your information with intention. Put the most information first when audience attention is at its maximum capacity, use bulleted lists, include visuals to peak stakeholder interest.
Carefully craft email communications tailored specifically to the goal and audience you are trying to reach. Remember how you segmented your stakeholders in the “Buy-In Stage” of our Change Management framework? Direct your communications at specific groups and ensure that your messages focus on WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) messaging.
3. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Be honest with your team. Share the project’s wins and milestones but also inform them of setbacks and challenges. Your team is made up of brilliant and diverse people who might be able to help solve problems in unexpected and novel ways.
Additionally, people are more likely to respect leaders who are honest and accountable for their actions. Withholding information will only lead to more issues down the road.
With over a decade in the communications field, we have bright ideas on how to keep people informed and how that leads to successful change management. Contact us to see how our expertise can drive your project to completion.