Using Communications to Navigate Change

Hey, buddy – spare some change? If your business is like most, there’s plenty of change to go around – and it’s impacting your colleagues, clients and customers.

Change has been proven to have a significant effect on employees’ mental well-being, and it can manifest itself physically, as well. According to a study from the American Psychological Association, in fact, workers experiencing current or recent change are more than twice as likely to report chronic work stress.

But a strategic communications effort can help. In my latest article for Business2Community, co-authored with Bellmont Partners’ Sara Grasmon, we talk about how communications can help a company – and its various stakeholders – navigate the often tricky waters of change. Essentially, it comes down to five steps:

Assess and Plan. Be transparent, and give your team as much information as possible. Then develop a plan to move forward.

Listen. Provide a way for employees – and if it makes sense, other stakeholders like clients or customers – to become part of the process. Make sure they authentically feel like their voices are being heard.

Communicate. Make sure the lines of communication are open, and keep everybody updated on what’s happening.

Embrace it. Instead of fearing what comes next, look at change as fuel. As client John Sweeney of the Brave New Workshop says, “People in the mindset of discovery don’t seem to be as jarred or set back or even surprised by change,” and instead look at it as an opportunity.

Measure. Gather baseline metrics, and keep an eye on how things are progressing, listening closely to employees and customers along the way through multiple communications channels.

If your organization isn’t in the middle of change now, it will be soon. An authentic, planful communications approach can help guide you through it. For more details, check out the full article here.

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