Change is a tough issue. One study reports that only one-quarter of businesses who kick off change management campaigns are able to sustain their gains.
A closer look at unsuccessful change campaigns reveals that lack of quality communication is at the heart of these failures. It always comes down to one thing: the people who hold the organization together are not involved enough in the change process.
Communication is Everything
Case studies of successful change management campaigns always share one commonality: employees were included in the change process through zealous, sometimes redundant, communication.
We cannot emphasize this enough!
The truth is that the success of your campaign is as important to you and your company’s upper management as it is to the employees who will actually implement the changes. For this reason, you need to clearly express all of the ideas and goals that you have with team members at every level as soon as the decisions are made.
Multiple Points of Communication
You should send out a company memo via email as soon as the campaign comes together (before changes begin). Meet with all members of upper management for a full conversation about the changes. Upper management in turn will hold meetings with middle management, who will in turn hold meetings with their teams. Ultimately, all employees should be a part of a discussion about the changes.
You need to initiate this chain of communication before your change campaign begins. This will allow every level of management to provide feedback. Even if the changes are mandated by investors or a board of directors, having a real conversation will make every employee feel heard and included. This will also guarantee that everybody in the organization has a full understanding of both why and how the changes will be made.
Emphasize the “Why”
Employees need to understand that the fundamental changes in your operation are a part of a greater plan for progress. Your campaign’s success is as important to you as it is for each employee’s personal success within your organization.
Emphasizing the reasons behind the changes and the “bigger picture” strategies will give your team members an ongoing interest in succeeding.
Keep Everybody Involved
The initial discussions about the changes should set the tone and protocol for “checkups” throughout the change process. As major changes are made, this series of meetings “up and down” the management chain needs to continue. This face-to-face contact will keep everybody working towards your established goals.
This will be crucial, as the employees at the very bottom of the corporate structure very often will be the first to pick up on signs of failing strategies. By keeping the “channels” of communication open, you can quickly adapt your strategies to address issues as they arise.
There are many resources available to help you succeed in your change campaign. We can help by providing top quality tech personnel and ERP integration.