Have you ever received one of those generic emails sent to all employees announcing some big change within the organisation? If yes, did you read it thoroughly and did it motivate you to do something or did you just quickly scan the email and delete it? Most likely, it was the second option, wasn't it? That's the problem with internal communication - while it's pretty important to motivate your employees to process the information and do something with it, it's often very generic. Time for a change! We have five tips for you to make your internal communication way more awesome. And way more motivating too, we promise.
Segment Your Target Audience
Let's start with the target audiences. Technically, when sending out one of those very generic emails, you look at all employees as one big target audience. When hitting 'send to all', all you can do is hope that as many people as possible open that email. And read it and process it and do something with it. That's a lot of hoping, especially when you are communicating an important change management project.
And why would your target audience do any of this? The information you are sending out is most likely not (entirely) relevant to every single receiver. Some of them might need more information while others think it's way too many details. Also, sending an email might just not be the perfect way to actually reach all employees. People working in the office check their emails daily, but is that also true for people from other departments, such as, let's say, distribution? Probably not. And that's why we think you should never treat your colleagues as one big target audience.
You can better segment them based on the department they work in, their knowledge level, their need for information or the impact of the subject on their daily tasks, for example. Once you have done so, you can easily adapt your message and level of detail per target audience. Which makes your internal communication way more relevant to every single receiver - and therefore way more efficient, too.
Start with Why
Wait a second. Segmenting target audiences and adapting your message is a good start, but there is one more thing you need to do to make your message relevant. To make your employees realise that the information you are communicating is relevant to them personally, you need to start with why.
Many companies focus on communicating WHAT is going to change and HOW it's going to happen, rather than explaining WHY the change is important in the first place. But when communicating a change project, you want to trigger the intrinsic motivation of the employees to support this project. And they will only do so if they understand WHY the project is relevant to them personally. When you can explain to them why your change project is a solution to a problem they are encountering or why the change can make their lives easier, you trigger a change of behaviour.
It doesn't matter if you are implementing a new software or rolling out a new strategy, if you want to trigger the intrinsic motivation of the departments that need to participate in making the change a successful one, tell them WHY it's crucial to them. Start with WHY and leave the WHAT and the HOW for later. Because once they understood the relevance of the project, your communication is way more effective. After all, your target audience will be willing to support you.
Set Clear Goals and Monitor the Progress
This one is especially important in all situations you want your colleagues to change their behaviour in one way or another. Want them to start using the new software or change their way of working according to the new security guidelines? Any of these change projects is only successful if your colleagues participate and do something about it. Therefore, you need an efficient internal communication campaign.
But if you want to make sure your communication campaign around change management is efficient, it's necessary to know what makes it efficient and to set a clear goal. Think of a measurable and SMART goal. For example: Within 3 months after the launch, 80 percent of the target audience have completed an online training on how to use that new software. By making it measurable, you enable yourself to keep track of the progress and adapt your communication if necessary. But the goal also helps you mapping out a communication plan. You can define the steps your audience needs to take on their way of reaching the goal and adapt your use of media and channels accordingly.
Use Visual Storytelling
Plain emails are pretty boring. And everybody receives many of them every single day. They all look kinda the same. Time to shake things up a little! Instead of sending just another generic and boring email, think of how you can use visual storytelling to make it more interesting. And more recognisable! We already wrote an entire blogpost on the topic, so we won't go into too much detail here, but basically visual storytelling helps you gain the attention of your target audience. And they will be able to process the information faster than if you only use text. It's just easier to understand for the human brain. Therefore, your target audience will better understand the relevance of the change project. And once they have understood that, they are ready for information on the WHAT and HOW.
Make it Interactive
A standard email is not really interactive. The only thing the receiver can do is reply, forward or delete it. But it's easy to make your internal communication campaign a little more appealing to your target audience by making it interactive. Instead of providing simple, written instructions on how to use the new software, you could, for example, use an e-learning to get your colleagues familiar with it. Or you could use an interactive infographic. They could click through the steps of implementing the new strategy themselves - way more exciting than just reading about it in a generic email. By providing people with the possibility to familiarize with your change project at their own pace, you trigger their intrinsic motivation again. And as we already learned, that increases the likelihood of your campaign being successful. No kidding, it can really be that easy!
No idea where to start to communicate your change project or to get the attention of your colleagues? We’re happy to help! Get in touch with our consultancy team and we will help you to figure it out!
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