Change communication messages need to keep your employees consistently informed about the transition and foster employee engagement. Here are some best practices for your communications campaign after implementing a new technology.
Your organization has made a significant change to its technology — now what? You've communicated appropriately during implementation and "go live," but it doesn't stop there.
Communications created regarding organizational change should be designed to keep your employees informed about the transition, support awareness and adoption — all the while fostering employee engagement. Here are some leading practices for consideration as you develop a communications campaign before, during and following the implementation of new technology.
Leadership needs to be behind the technological changes to help ensure buy-in by managers and employees across your organization. With an executive sponsor(s) in place, communications messages can be cascaded from the top down to help drive awareness and action.
Ongoing communication is necessary to help ensure your workforce understands how the new technology system, process or policy can benefit them. For example, your new time and attendance system is more than just a way for managers to create schedules and run reports; it enables your employees to access their schedules, swap shifts with other associates and request time off or leave. More importantly, it offers them the convenience to do all of these things on their own.
To help solidify buy-in, be sure to reiterate the advantages of the new technology, process or policy in your change communication messages and use a combination of communication methods to reach your entire audience.
Establish Two-Way Communications
After your new technology, policy or process goes live, messages should involve consistent, two-way communications. This means having regular interaction with your employees to discuss project results, reinforce key points, answer further questions and cultivate feedback. Promote feedback channels such as connecting with your HR business partners, change champions and people managers, collect information via surveys, focus groups and even in hallway conversations to determine whether project objectives were met.
Change champions should encourage employees to share their opinions and ideas about what's new and changing. It's crucial to accept and promptly act on employee feedback. Your organization will need to demonstrate appreciation for employee input by addressing or instituting suggestions into future process improvements as appropriate.
You can strengthen two-way communications by not assuming everyone is on board and already using the new technology system, process or policy. Begin with the fundamentals and communicate clearly and concisely how your employees can find valuable information and what training is available to succeed at their jobs. The where is also important, as in, where they can find additional resources or help.
Additionally, you may want to try a "Did you know?" series shared via whichever combination of communications methods work the best for your organization. This can heighten your employees' awareness of the new technology and provide an additional opportunity for you to solicit feedback. When this communication is done right, your workforce should be more apt to accept and use the technology regardless of differences in background, education or technical know-how.
Having quantifiable metrics driven by data can help you understand the success of your roll out. In fact, to promote business process improvement, the performance-measuring elements of your communications campaign should be ongoing. This can enable change agents like the HR or communications teams report findings back to senior managers on a regular basis.
Measure campaign performance by using a variety of metrics that will help your senior leaders understand adoption rates. For example, you could determine whether employees are taking advantage of a new program by tapping into utilization reports, evaluating employee satisfaction surveys and monitoring the number of help desk calls and requests for support. From there, you can repeat what worked and/or make adjustments to what didn't work in subsequent communications campaigns.
Effective communications before, during and following implementation of new technology, policy or process can help your employees realize what new technology can do for them and how it can enable them to get the information they need.
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