change management white paper

Employee Communications

Change Management & The Kotter Method: A New Approach for Getting Everyone On Board with Smart Communication

Picture of Dane H. By   Dane H.  

The Secret to Effective, Lasting Change

Change initiatives are a crucial part of modern corporate life. After all, to evolve is to survive, and remaining competitive means things like digital transformation, strategic realignment, and new brand identities are more important than ever. But many companies still struggle with change-based initiatives, with many of them petering out before completion, or unable to sustain the changes for the long-term. So what’s the solution? How can a company ensure that its change initiative is not only completed, but successful long into the future?

In our latest Sociabble white paper, we explore the reasons change management often fails to yield desired results, and we suggest a new way to plan and guide corporate transformation—one that combines a fresh approach to the communications strategy with concrete digital tools. When these two elements are used together, a new roadmap to change becomes apparent, one in which both long-term and short-term goals are clearly communicated, employee engagement is effectively generated, and measurement and KPIs are utilized to secure the win.

 

Click here to download the white paper.

 

The Kinds of Transformation Initiatives Companies Encounter

To stay active, competitive, and agile, almost all companies reach a point where organizational change is needed. This can be simply to save money, to be more efficient, to expand its offerings, or simply to make life better for employees. Change can take many forms, and serve many different purposes. But there are several kinds of transformation initiatives that appear time and time again:

Structural Change: This can include mergers and acquisitions, or simply breaking up departments or creating new teams. But either way, communication is crucial for keeping employees aware of what’s happening, and how the changes will affect their routine.

Strategic Change: Adapting the company’s mission, reshaping a marketing strategy, or searching out new kinds of partners can all be strategic changes that require strong internal and external communication.

Technological Change: Digital Transformation initiatives are the most common kind of technological change these days, although something as basic as adding new machinery or processes to an assembly line can be included. Again, proper communication, as well as education, is crucial.

Culture Change: Sometimes, companies decide they need to do an internal 180 when it comes to the culture of the company. These kinds of changes can be more vague and less distinct, but transmitting the new identity to employees and management alike ensures that the new vision will stick.

Policy Change: This kind of transformation can take many forms, and is extremely common. Keeping an effective stream of communication is important for obvious reasons—employees have to be aware of any new company policies, and adapt their techniques and processes accordingly.

As you may have noticed, the one thing all of these kinds of changes have in common is a need for an effective communication strategy, backed up by the proper concrete tools for achieving it. And this white paper focuses on precisely that.

 

The Most Common Mistakes

This white paper also explores kinds of mistakes many companies make that prevent change-based initiatives from taking hold. Too often, companies don’t speak to employees as individuals with distinct personality traits, but as a generic whole, which means some employees feel left out. Another problem is a lack of a long-term vision; no extended plan is in place to give employees a reason to adopt the changes. And lastly, poor execution results in low levels of engagement. Employees need a convincing reason to participate in the evolution of the company. If the vision is not properly communicated, and if convincing incentives are not put in place, the entire initiative will often simply peter out. Which will only hurt the chances of future initiatives succeeding.

 

The Kotter Method Can Help, But More is Needed

One tool commonly used to structure a change initiative is the Kotter method, a general guide for change management. It lays out a series of steps that can serve as a roadmap to achieve lasting change, breaking down the process into tangible, distinct phases. The progression is one designed to introduce change, manage the transformation process, and ensure that the alterations are solidified for the long-term. But while helpful, this method is ever more effective if it’s taken further, and supported by the right long-term communications strategy and a powerful set of digital tools. Ideas are important, but having the proper technology and methodology on hand are key. When these are all combined, a potent recipe for meaningful change is created.

change management infographic

Changing our Thinking About Employee Communication

One of the major themes explored in this white paper is the need for a total reboot in how we think of and talk to employees. Too often, company’s neglect to address employees as separate individuals with distinct motivations, ways of processing content, and interests. Which is a major reason so much communication is ignored and not engaged with. To capture the interest of employees, you have to earn their engagement. And one way to do this is to speak to what moves them. Rather than thinking of the employees as a single monolithic whole, this white paper explores ways to create personas and segment them by categories relevant to transformation initiatives.

 

An Step-by-step Guide to Effective Change

In this white paper, we’ll lay out a step-by-step guide for ensuring effective and long-lasting change. By incorporating engaging storylines and narrative arcs to create a common sense of purpose and journey, and by then pairing these communications to the right set of digital tools, change becomes meaningful, beneficial, and permanent. Employees don’t feel like bystanders, but rather like protagonists in their own personal career journey of transformation. They understand the reasoning behind the changes, they clearly understand the company vision, and they become willing participants in an adventure of transformation that has benefits for all.

 

Download the white paper today, and get the full step-by-step guide for achieving this kind of long-lasting change. Just click here.

 

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