When embarking on the journey of change management there are many things that can either set you up for failure or for fortune. The main goal is to communicate change effectively. This means actively voicing a cogent change story by communicating it to employees and following it up with ongoing communication and involvement. Why so much follow-up? Simple: people do not like change. In essence, the journey of change management never stops and is meant to be an ongoing process in order to support employees and create a strong sense of morale. Successful change management means creating a vision that employees can believe in and continue to believe in, which is why a truly effective process is so important. Management needs to effectively tell a change story that motivates employees and avoid the things that would otherwise cause them to repel the idea of such a beneficial strategy like change management.
An initial step in effectively communicating change is simple and repetitive communication. When you communicate with employees in both a simple and repetitive fashion you are able to cultivate understanding and retention. Employees cannot fully embrace change that is backed by a change vision that is not comprehensible. It is human nature for people to be doubtful of anything new and to assume that there is no way this change could be better than their current circumstances. This usually comes down to typical worries such as sitting next to a different co-worker, not having the right accessories around their space to set up their “stuff”, being a long walk away from the kitchen versus the short walk they were used to… the list goes on and on. By using simple and repetitive communication, you will find employees are able to warm up to the idea of change much quicker and with a more open mind due to seeing through to the genuine value of change.
Though management is reponsible for effectively communicating change through simple and repetitive communication, it is also important for the communication to be a two way street between management and employees. People generally do not feel comfortable with change unless they feel like they are a part of the process. It is important to make employees feel like they are just as involved in the change vision as anyone else and not on the outskirts where things may seem out of their control. It is through the synchronicity of ongoing communication and feedback that people are able to collectively shape and contribute to the process of the change vision. One way of actively doing this would be holding an all-in meeting to discuss any current questions or upcoming changes. Depending on your team, you might want to try an e-mail newsletter than allows employees to stay updated but also respond with any feedback or questions they may have. Either way of communicating provides open communication between management and employees and allows the change management process to be fostered.