Remember your audience when Communicating TCF change
Without audience buy-in your communication will not succeed. Sharing your vision through boring PowerPoint will not create effective change. Similarly sharing your message in meetings can be part of the process, but it isn’t enough on its own. Make sure you create opportunities for an ongoing conversation with opportunities for questions and time to reflect.
Communicating TCF change is not a one-way lecture, it is a two-way conversation.
Key ideas to help improve organisational communication:
- Change is uncomfortable. Change can be scary, particularly when it impacts our identity. For most of us adapting to change is complex and messy. Tasks are easy to list, but behaviour and long-held habits are not always so easy to change. Gaining insight and perspective from outside your leadership structure can be essential to help adapt your approach to changes in legislation, and the resulting workplace dynamics.
- Be clear. Clarify what is changing and why. Change programs are often too jargon heavy, missing essential details on the day-to-day impact (and requirements) of the change. Clarify your message and eliminate the jargon. Make sure you have a clear and specific call to action your audience can relate to, and act on.
- Get help. The efficient delivery of your message may require the expertise of a communication strategist. Don’t wait until the rumour mill is out of control before you seek professional help. It can be easy to make assumptions about how things work in our organisation, sometimes an outside perspective is required to ensure your message is clear.
- Talk to your people. Involve employees from the beginning so they don’t hear about the changes from other sources. Participation increases confidence, withholding information increases fear. If they get nervous about the changes it will take a lot of time and money to regain their confidence. When changes are not explained you may lose talent as they find an organisation who will keep them in the loop. Give your employees numerous opportunities to share concerns, ask questions, and participate in generating ideas.
- Quality and consistency are crucial. Sharing too much insignificant data leads to overwhelm, distrust and disengagement. Make sure the information shared is relevant and timeous. Use multiple communication channels to ensure the message reaches employees in a digestible manner, ideas they can relate to. Sharing information exclusively via e-mail is ineffective as it often gets ignored amongst all the clutter. Repetition of your core message in different ways, using different channels, is helpful in sharing an effective message.
- TCF change takes time. Many organisations underestimate the time needed to embed change. Changing habits and behaviours takes time and awareness. Change begins with the announcement of the change, but doesn’t end until the new behaviours have become part of the way we work each day.