One of the most important outcomes we are aiming for with our change communications is to help people build their resilience to change. Our communications should retain a focus on how people can help themselves through change. We can encourage people, in our messages, to take stock and join up with their line managers and colleagues to work through the changes and ensure they understand the impact. By helping people understand that the best way to navigate through change is to understand it. It is by talking about it, sharing any concerns, supporting their colleagues and then moving towards accepting the change that resilience is built.
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Most communications about change will happen locally. People will turn to their leaders, managers and colleagues to make sense of change. Provide as much early supporting information to leaders who will visibly lead the change, and to managers who will be the first line of support to their teams. Making sure leaders and managers are on board as quickly as possible means they have absorbed the messages and are confident communicators themselves.
If you are communicating in a large organisation the chances are you can build a community of early adopters for the change. Consider creating ‘change champions’ – colleagues who can support you in communicating with colleagues. These individuals will be your allies and help to serve as your eye and ears – letting you know how the communications are landing with colleagues and any issues which might coming down the road. They are a great source of local insight and can help adapt and tailor your messages to ensure they resonate.
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Transparency and being open to hearing the views of colleagues is crucial to help communications about change land well. Hook into the opportunities to understand and respond to what is going on on the ground and what people are really thinking. Listening helps our communications to be relevant, credible and powerful for people.