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Successful change requires successful communication

Posted in Employers on Aug 29, 2018 by Keeley Edge

Many people think that employees are resistant to change. Quite often the problem is not the change itself, it’s the way it is communicated. Successful change requires successful communication; you need your team to understand what the change is, why the change is needed and how it will improve things.

There are several well-known change management models that can be applied to business. To help show you why communication is so vital in any change, we’re going to use the ADKAR model as an example.


What is ADKAR? 

ADKAR is an acronym for five stages in communicating change with your team.

A= Awareness

D= Desire

K= Knowledge

A= Action/Ability

R= Reinforcement

ADKAR focuses on the individuals who will be instrumental in making the changes work. It is important that you communicate effectively at each stage.

Awareness

The first stage is to make employees aware of the changes that need to be made. Justify the change by showing why it is needed. For example, you may be introducing a new CRM system. Explain the problems that are being caused by the old system and show why the new system is required.

It is important that you communicate any change as positive if you expect employees to be confident in it.

Desire

Show employees how the change will benefit them. Will it make their life easier? How will it do this? Get everyone excited about the change. In the example of a new CRM system, talk about all the great functions. For example, it may save employees time as they only need to log details in one place rather than three places. It may be easier to find information, as the new system has a better search function.

If you make employees desire the change, they are more likely to embrace it. Communicate the benefits effectively.

Knowledge

This is where you give employees knowledge about how and when the change will happen. It is vital that you communicate exactly what the employees will need to do to make the change effective. This may require some training to be carried out. Make sure this is well planned and that employees are given all the information they need.

Give employees the opportunity to communicate their concerns and ask questions. This helps them feel more engaged.

Action/Ability

Knowing how to do something and having the ability to do it isn’t the same thing. You need to make sure that, as well as the knowledge of how to implement the change, your team also has the ability to carry out the required actions. Having documented processes, shadowing or mentoring during the early stages of change, or providing ongoing training can help cement the knowledge.

Two-way communication is vital. You need employees to feel comfortable enough to ask for help, give feedback and raise any issues.

Reinforcement

Reinforce the change by praising employees who have implemented change effectively. Depending on the nature of the change, you may decide to offer incentives or rewards. Remind employees how to do things the new way until it becomes the new normal. If you can show examples of how the change is benefiting the company, communicate these to employees to reinforce the idea that the change is positive.

Communication should continue after the change is in place to reinforce the change and remind employees of the benefits.


Don’t forget to listen too

Good communication does not work if it is only one way. Your employees need to communicate with you too. Our recent article about workplace communication gives some top tips for improving your communication skills.

When it comes to change management, effective communication is vital. If employees don’t understand change, they’ll find it harder to engage with and harder to implement.


At Key Appointments, communication is vital to what we do. If we don’t listen to what a client is looking for, we can’t source the right candidates. We’ve spent years honing our communication skills so that we can match the right talent to the right roles. If you need any help with a recruitment requirement, then we’d love to hear from you. Contact our friendly consultants to find out more about how we can support your business to recruit and retain the best people.

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