Elizabeth Hall has been working in internal communications and change for over 15 years. As one of our newest members of the CIPR Inside committee, she has shared some top tips for communicating during times of change.
Change is becoming ever-present in most organisations, and Internal Communicators are often asked to support embedding the changes. The good news is many of our Comms existing tools can be applied to change communications:
Ask lots of questions
The more time you have to prepare the better. Dig a bit deeper to understand the real impact of the change, who it affects, and the outcomes. Building a more profound knowledge of the change will help you create the right communications approach.
Set measurement from the get-go
Understanding what the project team is looking to achieve through communications will help you push back or support project requests. The outcomes may be to increase awareness, engagement or for colleagues to take action. You can also look at the more intrinsic values by asking what we want our colleagues to Think, Feel or Do. Understanding the outcome will help you build SMART communications objectives.
Know your audience
As Internal Communicators, we already segment our audiences. This approach can be applied to change projects. Your business understanding can be invaluable to make sure the right audiences are reached, and the messaging is delivered in the most impactful way with a route to feedback.
Sometimes it’s not a channel
If you look at the media richness model, the higher the impact of the message, the more that face to face briefings should be used. Sometimes, our most significant role is to facilitate the conversations and get our leaders ready to deliver impactful two-way communications.
Internal Communicators are always listening to the business and during time of change listening to understand how people are really feeling can help you to keep shaping the communications and give a voice to our colleagues concerns and successes.
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