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Communication Strategies for Effective Change Management

Updated: May 2

Managing change can be exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially when efforts to change for the better are met with resistance. Did you know that the way you communicate with others in the time leading up to change has a direct impact on how they react to the change and how much change resistance you're likely to face? It's absolutely true! Incorporating the communication strategies listed below into your approach to change management can help you take your change management skills to the next level.

6 Key Change Management Communication Strategies

Change is a fact of life in the world of work. Business leaders and decision-makers need to be able to recognize the need for change and adapt effectively, but they also need to know how to manage the change process. Effective change management begins with strategically and effectively communicating with employees every step of the way.

1. Establish Why Change Is Needed

The time to focus on soliciting buy-in for change is way before it's time to start doing things differently. Skilled change managers pave the way by seeking buy-in that there actually is a need to change before moving forward. After all, people won't necessarily assume that change is needed just because management says so. Employees need to know why, and leaders are responsible for conveying that information. People who understand the reason for change are much less likely to be change-resistant than those who don't.

2. Ask for Employee Input

People are much more likely to “own” change if they have some input in creating the solution. That's why it's so important to involve individuals who regularly perform the work that's going to be impacted by the change throughout the process of identifying solutions. From brainstorming to identifying pain points to identifying and testing options, it's important for team members to have a voice in change that will impact their work.

3. Pilot Change on a Small Scale

People are much more likely to trust a change if they are able to see successful results before it is rolled out on a broader scale. That's why pilot testing is so important in change management. Rolling out a change to a relatively small group at first is a great way to fine-tune new processes before rolling it out on a larger scale, as well as for early adopters to become champions to help generate excitement among other team members.

4. Convey How Change Benefits Employees

When you want people to buy-in to change, it's important to share information on how the new way of doing things will be beneficial to them. Don't just focus on benefits to the organization, but instead identify, emphasize, and clearly convey concrete benefits to the real people whose day-to-day approach to work will be directly affected by the change.

5. Allow Team Members Time to Process

Don't just tell affected employees what to do differently and leave it to them to figure out how to make it work. Instead, allow sufficient time for team members affected by the change to process the change and encourage them to voice their concerns to leaders who will truly listen and engage in dialogue.

6. Share How Employees Will Be Trained

It's not realistic to expect employees to implement a new way of working without training. With that in mind, it's important to develop a training plan and communicate it to employees at the time a change is introduced. This helps prevent them from feeling fearful about whether they will be able to adapt and lets them know that the company has plans to support them as they learn how to adapt to the new procedures.


Boost Your Change Management Skills

Whether you work in HR or project management or are a manager, business owner, or other leader, your job likely involves change management. The better you are at managing change, the more effective you will be in your role and the greater the positive impact you can have on your organization. We are here to help you improve your ability to manage change effectively.

Build Skills with Online Change Management Training

Inside Insights, Inc. offers powerful online change management training that will prepare you to drive results. From our full online certificate program focused on Managing Change and Resolving Conflict to foundational change management courses like Leading and Managing Change and Change Management Foundations, we provide convenient and affordable training programs that will help you master the art of effective change management.

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Earn Recertification Credit for Change Management Training

Our change management courses provide continuing education and recertification credit for many professional credentials, including SHRM, HRCI, ATD, and PMI. These courses are also approved for CEUs International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Please contact us with any questions.

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