Clear and effective communications are critical to helping people through a change. As we manage change, we should not expect people to do things differently if they did not know about the new expectation. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but sometimes we need a reminder of the immense importance of communications in managing change. We do everything we can to deliver the best communications possible to our stakeholders, though at times we all have missed the mark.
There are tons of tips and tricks on the internet to help improve communications, and it can be overwhelming to distill it all down. One of my favorite recent articles is Tim Creasey’s, 5 Tips for Better Communication Around Change, where he talks about communications that “…focus on the right people at the right times and in the right ways.” He offers five great tips about better communicating change that we all should be doing on EVERY change project!
Here are two that resonate with me the most:
Structure your efforts – Some of the biggest communication mistakes I have seen clients make are due to sending communications without a structure (and written plan) in place to make sure messaging, resources and timing are purposeful and coordinated. Don’t make the mistake of rushing to get the first communication out just because a project is starting, or an executive asked for it. You must plan, coordinate and send with a purpose.
Answer the questions people have – As communications and messaging get drafted, we do our best to include relevant content, but we can miss the mark if we do not think about what is important to our audience. Think about the most pertinent questions people may have about the change and be sure to answer those questions. Remember to tell them not just what you think they need to know, but also what they WANT to know!
No matter your role or experience, Tim’s 5 Tips are a good foundation for ensuring your change communications are effective tools in helping your organization navigate change. There is much more to be learned (with more than 563 million search results for ‘change communications tips’) so I wish you well on your communication journey!