Amid chaos and uncertainly, you may feel like you are on stormy sea without a map. You know the destination you want to reach but are lost and can’t figure out how to get there.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented shifts to many aspects of our personal and professional lives. It has meant dramatic impacts on how organizations operate, how work gets done, and to the policies, priorities and expectations of employees, stakeholders, clients, and customers.
The need for clarity, reassurance, and keeping everyone on the same page has never been greater. Change is now constant, both forced and voluntary, with uncertainty becoming the new normal. Internal resistance to this change is inevitable and will have to be overcome.
Importantly, real change only pans out when it is communicated and championed effectively from the top with support from allies, partners, and enablers from within. Top executives and management leadership have been expected to maintain near constant engagement with timely messages that convey accurate factual knowledge, confidence, and support. Greater focus on conversational, two-way feedback is essential in what are now often virtual-only interactions in both collective and individual contexts.
For organizations to manage all this change while navigating new challenges, transformations, and opportunities, deploying effective approaches to internal and stakeholder communications is critical to your success. When thinking about developing winning strategies for change communications, your approach should be centred around the concept of AGILITY:
Adaptable to respond to evolving operating conditions and future uncertainties; frequent updates and opportunities for concerns to be voiced sustain moral and support for changes being implemented.
Grounded in the organization’s vision, mission, and guiding principles; be authentic and personal, align what you say with people’s needs and expectations.
Integrated within all parts of the organization and applied through consistent and well-coordinated messages by all those with responsibility for delivering them.
Leader-driven communications with reinforcement from management and all organizational communicators; this should be continued well into the recovery phases of this crisis and beyond.
Intelligent from both emotional and intellectual perspectives to help win both hearts and minds; sensitivity, sympathy and empathy must form the backbone of your approach.
Trustworthy to build confidence in proposed changes and helps to ease possible fears and anxiety, disruption, and destabilization; maintain credibility through transparency and ongoing dialogue.
Yielding to internal feedback and flexible to modification if something stops working; able to quickly counter any misinformation, confusion, or rumours that may arise.
Now is the time to assess the status quo and analyze your communications-related decision making, processes and content development. Time to look at what has worked well, and what has not. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals and objectives, and what it will take to obtain them?
As a key pillar of your organization’s s health and performance, this exercise will provide the basis of building a strong foundation for success and enable you to engage, inform and motivate your audiences.
But you don’t have to do this alone.
NIVA has over four decades of experience in helping guide organizations towards achieving positive changes thought robust and effective communications. We have refined the art of combining clear messages, compelling narratives, and high-impact visual content. Our deep insight enables us to build thoughtful plans and strategies that can respond to the distinct needs of target audiences and get results.
For a free 1-hr consultation that will help set you and your organization off in the right direction, please submit your contact information along with any specific communications challenges you are facing to: [email protected]. A member of our team will respond to you as soon as possible.