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Change Management 101 (Part 2)
: Why You Need a Solid Communication and Engagement Plan

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What is it for?

Whatever change your organization is facing, whether it’s a process, structural, or technology change, or something else, the most difficult component is not implementing the change itself – it’s managing how the people in your organization adopt, support and assimilate the change. That’s where a good communication and engagement plan comes in.

What does it do?

A communication and engagement plan’s primary objective is to inform and engage those critical to the change. The plan targets and engages front-line employees and their managers impacted by the change.

How does it work?

1) Start with the tools at hand:
There are a variety of readymade or “vanilla” tools that you already use to communicate with and engage employees. Use them to reach out, including:
Town halls, group meetings/events and manager-led meetings;
Regular communication and updates such as newsletters, intranets and emails; and
Webinars, conference calls and group chats.

2) Develop custom tools to deliver results:
The goal of customizing is to help front-line employees and their managers become owners and leaders of the change. To be successful, consider the following when customizing communication and engagement tactics:

  • Identify any resistance you are likely to face from employees in adopting the change or taking accountability for the desired results.
  • Determine the most important positive drivers employees require to support the change.
  • Develop messages that resonate and identify the most compelling forums to engage people.
  • Discover who your thought leaders are and find the best way to get them up-to-speed and on board with the change.

Whether you’re using readymade or custom tools to communicate with and engage your employees, make sure you align your tools to your organization’s culture and values. For instance, a high-touch culture that craves face-to-face conversations will not be engaged by regular written updates. Know your audience and communicate in ways that will reach them.

We take a structured and practical approach to developing communication and engagement plans. By doing so, we help mitigate risks and ensure that leaders, front-line employees and the entire organization adopt, support and assimilate organizational change that endures. Learn more in our white paper: Managing Change: Three truths every executive needs to know to deliver superior ERP and technology implementation results.

Implementing change like a top performing company is easier than you think.

See how a travel industry leader used a customized change management plan on a technology project to transform customer service. Download the Business Case: A Customized Change Management Plan Delivers Results Beyond Expectation.

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