Leading Change with Communication That Resonates

(SWE: Att leda och kommunicera i förändringar blir en allt viktigare faktor i dagens ledarskap. I takt med att omvärlden förändras allt snabbare måste företagen utveckla sitt sätt att arbeta, både internt och externt med sina kunder, snabbare än någonsin tidigare.
Ett förändrat beetende bygger i grund och botten på en förståelse för behovet av förändring. Det innebär att dagens chefer och ledare måste bli snabbt bättre inom områden som startegisk kommunikation, förankring och strategiimplementering.
Med anledning av detta, och ett HR-seminarium jag talade på förra veckan, bifogar jag den här artikeln i ämnet:)

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about being prepared for a HR software deployment in 2011. Two of the areas I focused on were 1) starting with the outcome and 2) focusing on the new audience.

I spent some time this weekend thinking about these two focus areas, and it made me wonder – what’s it really like for this ‘new audience’ as they receive communication from HR during a deployment.
•Are they truly hearing a message that makes sense to them (buzzwords be damned?)
•Do they see the value in the changes they are asked to accept and participate in?
•Do they ‘get’ what the desired outcome really is and what role they play in it?

Is Your Message Really Resonating?

As I thought about these questions, it occurred to me – there are many external factors that impact the way people receive a message. So how does this impact HR, especially in the face of deploying huge change within an organization?

I decided to focus on a few factors that impact not only our communications in HR, but across the entire organization:

Trust:
This is a biggie. We are all still reeling from the recession, and even if we managed to make it this far with our jobs intact and our roofs securely over our heads, almost all of us know someone that hasn’t been quite as fortunate. The recession really highlighted an unfortunate lack of transparency in large organizations and it delivered a huge blow to employee trust in leadership. When you think through your communications, are you using open and honest language? Are you selling a genuine benefit/value to the employee? Do you think they will read it that way? Are you testing the message and delivery on group that can give you meaningful feedback?

Relevance:
This is big too. Think about your life outside of work for a minute. Do you pay attention to things that aren’t relevant to you or your family? Do you spend the time really trying to understand something new if it’s not a personal interest? When you design communication for employees, always ask yourself: is there relevance to what I’m communicating?

An example to illustrate my point:

Let’s say this is your desired outcome: Tie compensation to specific performance criteria in a “XYZ” competency. (we’ll just assume that “XYZ” competency serves to accomplish a high level business goal)

Here’s the way you might be compelled to communicate the process step to employees: “with our new talent management process and system; managers must enter job competencies into your profile so that performance reviews can align with those competencies and drive compensation decisions.”

Here’s a way to communicate it that feels more relevant: “this new process helps us reach the goal of investing in you when you contribute to the success of our company. Your manager will help define how performance in specific parts of your job impact your compensation.”

Speed:
MTV, social media – pick your poison (or your generation) – our attention spans are much shorter than they used to be. Whether we realize it or not, the growing use and instant gratification of micro-blogging (ie, Twitter and Facebook) is curbing our patience for long winded explanations. When developing communication for employees, push yourself to get to the essence of what you’re trying to say.

I’m not suggesting that every thought should be penned in 140 characters or less, but spend the time reviewing communications with someone who has good copywriting skills and a talent for staying succinct. If nothing else, it increases your chances that communications get read and understood.

Leading change in your organization is hard work, and there are a lot of factors out of your control. But when you take the time to think through the way external factors impact your communication, and make the adjustments that consider those factors, you’ll be better positioned to succeed.

Sourece: knowledgeinfusion.com
Posted by Jason Averbook Jun 22, 2011
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