Checklist for internal communication during change
We're all familiar with them: the annual marketing and communication lists. I would like to plead in advance for the importance of taking your internal customer into account in the top 5. In addition to working more remotely, market developments are going faster. So in order to stay ahead of the competition, we need to innovate more.
This means that the call for digitisation is increasing. And so "digital transformation" will frequently return to the well-known lists, but strangely enough only lists that relate to external communication. Fortunately, nowadays we no longer have to explain that engaged and knowledgeable employees are one of your most important marketing tools.
Management of change
It is good to realise that a change stands or falls with the acceptance and desired behaviour of your internal customer. This applies to any change in IT, strategy, HR or product development.
So pay attention! Change managers, project managers and / or consultants: taking your internal customer into account is crucial. It makes or breaks your project. Just send out an intranet message or webinar from management? I can tell you that this is really not enough to bring about change. Don't want to miss the mark completely? Make sure you have an internal communication plan, but also follow this step by step.
Everything starts with a plan
Everything starts with a plan. Before you draw up a communication plan, a number of things are important. Based on our experience, we have drawn up a checklist to make this easier.
Put your change project next to this checklist and you will understand why I indicated earlier that an intranet message or webinar to all employees is not suitable for every change.
Organisational perspective: focus on the problem
Albert Einstein: “If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
Your organisation is facing a change. This means that the current situation will change and you have to include your employees. Before you can make this gap analysis, you need to clarify what the change means for your organisation: what is the degree to which this change is business-critical? Why is it important for the organisation that the change is successful? And what happens if there is no good communication with your employees?
Gap analysis: difference between now and where we want to go
It is important that you know what your final destination is: where do you want to go with your target group and why aren't you there yet. Your current situation is an important starting point too, but if you don't know where you want to go, how are you going to map out a route to it?
To achieve change, motivation and good level of knowledge are essential. Therefore, make sure you know clearly what your "motivational gaps" and "knowledge gaps" are. You can identify these, among other things, by asking yourself whether the destination, the need for information and the expectation are the same for everyone.
The gap analysis not only gives you a clear picture of what is needed to reach your destination, you also gain insight into how complex the change is.
Target audience: think like the target audience, not as a company
One of the biggest pitfalls: you keep thinking from the perspective of your organisation. In other words, why it is important for the organisation to implement a change. But it is your employees who can make the difference in this.
To think from the perspective of your target group, you can work with a persona. This is not new for an external product launch, but it is hardly applied in the world of internal communication yet.
A persona is a fictional character and a personification of a target audience. It appeals to the imagination, making it easier to think from the perspective of a target group. As a result, you communicate more effectively and purposefully.
Employee journey: the right information at the right time
It is essential to provide your target audience with the right information at the right time. Making an employee journey can help you with this. The end of the journey is the destination. To get there, map out where in the journey your target group is right now and what they need in order to get to the destination.
Let's take a look at an example:
The destination: the company kitchen must be cleaned.
- Target group 1: administrative employee
- Target group 2: cleaner
Does every target group need the same information? If you look below, the answer is no:
- Target group 1:
The administrative employee is not familiar with the destination in his / her daily work, needs to be more convinced and will ask more 'why' questions ("why do I have to clean the kitchen?").
- Target group 2:
The cleaner is familiar with the destination in his / her daily work, will need more instructions and will ask more concrete 'how' questions ("how is it cleaned, how often is it necessary).
The following question is: can you reach everyone in the same way? Think of the right time and the right channel. Target groups will also differ in how they receive information the best. One target group might process information better by watching a video for example, while the other could benefit more from an e-learning.
Success: predetermine success and optimise your results
The destination is the dot on the horizon. You are working towards this moment, but when will this be achieved and can you call it a success? Make sure to determine your success in advance. Set achievable goals, because you know that a change entails a lot of complexity.
No matter how big or small your campaign is, it is essential to make your activities measurable. This will always bring about relevant insights, helping you to make your communication strategy even more efficient and targeted.
So nowadays success is no longer just about measuring. The best success is achieved by determining your success in advance, formulating hypotheses and constantly optimising along the way.
The central question that applies to every change process and that you should ask yourself before you draw up your internal communication plan: what does the target group need to be successful, in terms of being able (knowledge) and wanting to (motivation)?
In addition: do you have to communicate the message of the subject with one homogeneous group or are there multiple segments? Finally add to this the complexity and the degree to which the change is business-critical.
Focus on your internal target group (s) to make your change a success. Curious about how we can help you? Discover our Consultancy service: a design and rollout of an effective communication strategy.
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