So, let’s get this right!

Communicate promptly

Make sure communications are built in to the planning process for the change up front, not bought in as an after thought.

Get commitment

Leaders need to own the change process – this means agreeing with the messages and being very visible and accessible right through the process so make sure your communications showcase this visibility.

Be consistent

Don’t communicate for the sake of it but don’t be afraid to repeat your messages – remember people will be at different stages in coming to terms with change.

Provide the context

Your key messages are likely to be based on your corporate messages but these may feel remote for people. Wherever possible provide the picture of the local impact for people, and the things that matter to them. Where you can support managers with the tools to help them answer the questions their teams may have. Think about Q&As or perhaps regular email bulletins.

Choose the channels

Find as many ways to build on the face to face opportunities your department has to talk to people. Team events and meetings are a great way to communicate verbally and non-verbally (body language is just as important) but they should be part of an integrated approach as many people will feel inhibited and prefer to ask questions on email for example. See the Channels chapter

Get feedback

Take regular checks on the ‘mood music’ of people in your organisation. If you have Yammer or other social media channels have a look at what’s trending and where you can, join in the conversation. You can gain real insight informally or organise focus groups or perhaps piggy back onto other people engagement groups. But, however you do it, make time to listen and make sure you feed what you hear into your comms so they stay relevant and credible.

This case study from Simply Communicate explains how Balfour Beatty ensured their leadership team set out a strong case for change.