Time for change? Here are some must-do’s from Dan Pecchia, president of Pecchia Communications, for communicating successfully about major organizational changes.
• Tell the Truth: Be clear and forthright about exactly what’s happening. Blurriness and hedging can undermine trust and dilute the support needed to embed change. Come clean with the facts and the rationale for the change.
• Make the Case: There’s a reason you’re making these changes. Don’t be shy about conveying it. Employees and other key audiences need to know our rationale—even if they do not agree with it. A good case will maximize support and limit resistance.
• Be Consistent: Get a foundational FAQ and key facts and messages in place early and make sure key managers understand them. Don’t suffer any wildcat messages, even if they’re accurate. Consistency in look is important, too.
• Use Plain English: Gobbledygook, bureaucrat-ese and other forms of poor language come off as fudging or hiding. Communicate benefits clearly and sharply, even if employees are not used to it, in order to nurture understanding and acceptance.
• Measure and Monitor: Do surveys to measure awareness and understanding. Knowing where the needle rests is important to moving it. Allow for comments. Employees and others appreciate the chance to add input.