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Communicating change initiatives is tricky, and most organizations simply stink at it.
Here are five common mistakes:
1. Blasting the same message to everyone
Is your change initiative going to affect different groups of employees in different ways? If so, you should craft individualized messaging to address pertinent pain points or concerns. Blasting out the same message to everyone will only create friction, resistance or widespread confusion.
Instead, list all the different audiences the change affects, and spell out exactly what each group needs to know. For example, you might write special messaging for hourly employees or part-timers. If external audiences such as suppliers or customers are affected in any way, they deserve a tailored message, too.
2. Neglecting managers
If you leave managers in the dark, you’ll create a domino effect of miscommunication. This is an easy way to ruin employee morale, trust and engagement.
When change is on the horizon, make sure managers are informed and equipped to cascade pertinent messaging to their teams. Managers are often the most crucial communication channel in your organization—treat them accordingly when change is afoot.
3. Measuring or monitoring the wrong stuff
Everyone might be aware of the new strategic plan, but do they understand it? Do employees get how their role fits into the bigger picture of what the company’s trying to accomplish?
Alas, awareness does not equal understanding. “Intent” is also quite useless.
What matters in organizational change is whether people actually do things—and, if not, why? Track how many employees started using the new software.