Plan the communication
At the start of the change programme, identify the stakeholders and decide how regularly they need to be updated. They will include those directly involved in implementing the change, those who will be affected by the change, and others who need to be kept informed. Don’t forget to include customers or suppliers. Then determine your communication strategy, determine the priority and importance of each stakeholder, summarise their interests and keep a record of their key issues and plan your management and communication approach for each group.
For some, a weekly face-to-face discussion might be necessary while for others a monthly email update will be sufficient.
As the project gets off the ground, involve stakeholders in the process as far as possible – explain the need for the project, solicit feedback, understand their different perspectives and accommodate them where possible.
Most importantly manage expectations and be honest – few people like change, especially when it affects their job. As far as possible quash rumours, and tell the truth, even if the truth is that you don’t have an answer yet. This will help to build trust and faith that the project is being competently and fairly managed.
Clear, timely and frequent communication with all stakeholders throughout the process Results in a workforce and community which understands the reasons for change, feels involved in the solution, knows what is expected and by when, and feels able to cope with the resulting uncertainty.