“Everything is connected – no one thing can change by itself.”
– Paul Hawken, environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author
In this final installment of my 5-part series on managing change through strategic communications, I thought this quote by Paul Hawken was quite apropos: Change must be introduced early to everyone who will be impacted. Change Management communications ensures that all impacted employees understand how and what will change as well as what will be expected of them as a result of the change. And finally, by including employees to help drive the change, you can help others to embrace it. If you’ve missed the first four in this 5-part series, you can access them by simply clicking on the links below:
- Tip #1: Communicating Change throughout the Organization
- Tip #2: Achieving Buy-In at All Levels of the Organization
- Tip #3: Helping Employees Understand How Change will Impact Them
- Tip #4: Communicating New Ways Employees are Expected to Work
Tip #5: Leverage Employees as Change Advocates
Some employees will understand and embrace impending change from the very first announcement. These employees are your advocates for change — also referred to as “early adopters”. Early Adopters are indispensable resources to help others to welcome the change and should be identified and leveraged early. They understand the concerns of the employees they represent. If provided with the facts in a timely fashion, they can allay any undue fears, anxiety, or misinformation employees may about the future.
On one project, we had regularly scheduled meetings and prepared communications for Early Adopters. They communicated the concerns of employees and identified areas in which more information/communication was needed or unclear. Having this firsthand access to employee concerns provides you the opportunity to address concerns when they surface resulting in an open two-way line of communication. This is a key element to successfully managing change through an organization.
And with that, I wish you much success as you manage change through your organization.