A lot of change can leave people feeling unsettled. It can lead to confusion, involve significant consequences and big budgets. Does this sound familiar and leave you feeling daunted?
With systematic planning, you’ll be pleased to know a time of change doesn’t need to be a time of high stress for small or large organisations. In fact, the benefits of planning can be far-reaching; whether the change is positive or negative, internal, something you have instigated, or due to forces outside your control.
Here are three steps to follow when managing change:
1. Consult stakeholders, including staff, who will be affected by – or are interested in – the change
This early groundwork requires the art of listening. Taking the time to understand the range of opinions that affect perceptions of your plans will better equip you for the associated risks. There is an additional benefit too; listening and responding helps to build trust in relationships.
Being thorough at this stage in identifying all relevant stakeholders is essential to ensuring that you don’t need to shift your focus from change to crisis management.
2. Develop a communications plan
Your groundwork will have highlighted the communications needs and developing a communications plan will make sure that important information doesn’t get lost or confused in the noise. Bringing key messages to life with stories that people relate to will help you achieve cut-through.
Your communications plan will spell out the details and focus your mind on keeping stakeholders in the forefront of all your change plans.
3. Develop a relationship plan
Having a relationships plan for the long-term is a great way of making sure that you don’t forget to communicate with people who need to hear from you after the change. It will make sure you tell your valued stakeholders what they need to know, when they need to hear it. It will also help to ensure that they feel valued and that you are responsive to their needs.
At Fishbowl PR, not only can we help prepare your organisation for change – we love change. If you already have a plan in place, we’re impressed!
Call us if you’d like it professionally reviewed, as we’re well placed to provide mentoring or support in this area.