How to effectively communicate change

Nickolas Sternberg-Heyze
June 10, 2021

Aspen Solutions Co-Founders and Directors, Leanne Robinson and Daniel Panozzo presented at the Teamgage hosted webinar Engaging your team to embrace change discussing best practices when formulating your change communication. In times when we’re all learning how to navigate the current Coronavirus crisis, this became an imperative learning for leaders.

“The number one element necessary for the success of any Change Management activity is individual adoption. The number one element necessary for individual adoption in any Change Management activity is desire”
Leanne Robinson, Co-founder and Director at Aspen Solutions

Successful change takes place through consistent communication to more people, more often and to all levels of the organisation. To achieve this, it’s important to make sure that you have a communication strategy targeting your audience that is interactive, succinct, consistent and accurate with a strong set of core messages.

If done correctly, communication will form a major and strategic part of your overall change success. 

Considerations when formulating your change communication

The right messages:

What do they care about and what should they know about. 

The right time:
Start at the beginning and follow the Kubler-Ross Curve, which was originally designed around the different stages of grief, then over time it was adapted to business purposes.

As detailed in the image above, each stage requires a different strategy:

  • Create alignment: critical to the “Denial” stage. Your team needs to understand why they are doing this, what does this change mean and how this impacts the organisation.  
  • Maximise communication: when you see people moving into the “Frustration” stage. In the absence of information, people will make up their own stories. Make sure that they know exactly what this change means.
  • Develop capability: when you feel people are in low mood and with lack of energy, they’re giving you signs of experiencing the “Depression” stage. Give them instruments, show how they are going to make this happen.  
  • Share knowledge: by the “Decision” stage, your team will start to learn how to work in the new situation and will automatically feel more positive. It’s time to share knowledge. Choose who will become your change advocates, so they can share what they have learned with others and help them to move through the curve. Celebrate and recognise the wins.

The right format:

Email is not always king. Written format can misconstrue the tone of the conversation. Consider face-to-face, webinars, online meetings, or even adding video elements to your newsletter. 

The right sender:

If we’re talking about the direction of the organisation, and why the change has to happen, it must come from the top down, promoted by executive sponsorship. If we're talking about the front line, it would be better to come from a change manager or direct manager.

Watch the full webinar: 

Daniel Panozzo 

Co-Founder and Director at Aspen Solutions  
Daniel is an engaging and professional public speaker, host and facilitator. He delivers training events, workshops and seminars. He’s passionate about sharing the knowledge and navigating people and organisations through transition, change and turmoil. 

Leanne Robinson 
Co-Founder and Director at Aspen Solutions 
She is passionate about building resilience, agility and capability in people through times of change. Leanne is an experienced Change Manager, Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, Trainer and Coach, and works with individuals and teams to create purpose and values driven cultures.  

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