• Kate Isichei

What change? Communicating during uncertain times

Uncertainty. The very mention of the word makes one feel uncomfortable. What, when, who, how? All the questions that spring to mind when the situation we find ourselves in is unpredictable.

Most of the answers don’t exist and the ones that do are not clear. “The only thing you know is what you don’t know” and that’s it. According to Kotter, and other masters of change communications, we should over communicate. Communicate as much about what we don’t know as much as what we do.

Bringing your people through the change curve is a challenge. Everyone goes through it at their own pace and experiences change in their own way. Meanwhile, the change juggernaut speeds ahead. Whilst it’s important put transformation programmes through, from start to finish, ensuring you bring your employees with you is the key to success.

No person left behind? It’s important to identify and target the early adopters as well as the laggards. Repeat key tenets of the transformation – the good as well as the bad so those who didn’t absorb and understand the first time will get other opportunities to digest this and make sense of what’s happening.

“May you live in interesting times”. A curse or a blessing? It’s debatable. But what isn’t debatable is that communication plays a crucial, pivotal role in keeping employees engaged and informed about the change, what it means for the organisation, for them and to embed change as a way of life, or BAU, rather than a one-off event.

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