Definition of Change Management Communication Plan

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When implementing structural or operational changes in a company, it's essential to communicate with employees and other stakeholders. Preparing a communication strategy helps ensure the success of the communication process. Understanding how to plan a communication strategy can help you utilize methods that ensure employees understand and engage with the changes within the company. In this article, we explain the meaning of a change management communication plan, highlight its benefits, and outline steps you can follow to prepare a communication strategy.

What is a change management communication plan?

A change management communication plan describes how a company intends to communicate necessary changes to stakeholders, managers, and employees. It describes the structural or operational changes the company may undertake, including stakeholder roles and how these changes can affect them. The management team may use different channels to communicate with the concerned parties regarding this vital information.

Change management typically involves implementing new policies and strategies in a company's internal and external processes. It may involve educating employees, purchasing new tools, and monitoring the implementation process. Change management aims to optimize the company's operations and increase its profitability. This process helps ensure a smooth transition into new procedures and strategies in the company. The management team may also ensure that these changes align with the goals and objectives of the company.

Related: What Is a Change Management Process and How Does It Work?

Benefits of change management communication

Here are common benefits of communicating changes to employees in a company:

Explains employees' roles

Communicating the details and aspects of company changes helps employees and stakeholders understand their responsibilities in its implementation. This ensures that employees and stakeholders have clarity on the activities in the company. Communicating company changes may also allow the management team to manage the expectation of the employees and stakeholders. It enables them to inform personnel about these changes' objectives and expected outcomes. Employees and stakeholders can also see how their actions affect the success of these changes.

Related: Change Phases: How to Prepare a Team for Change in 4 Steps

Improves employee engagement

Change management communication typically acts as a medium of engaging employees. It allows employees to give feedback on the changes and present additional solutions. Communicating these changes helps employees become more involved, concerned, and aware of company operations outside their department. This may increase employees' retention rate and job satisfaction, as it helps them feel valued. As part of the communication action plan, the management team may have multiple discussions and brainstorming sessions with employees, allowing them to engage in the decision-making process and showing them that their contributions are vital.

Related: How to Increase Employee Engagement (Short Term and Long Term)

Increases the success of the changes

Using change management communication typically increases the success of implementing the changes. Employees can inform the management team about the potential problems or challenges of the change implementation. This allows them to deal with those problems at the initial stage, which increases the success of the implementation. Keeping employees informed about the importance of these changes also encourages them to commit to their implementation. Change management communication also provides a means of keeping the management team accountable.

Encourages critical thinking

Before communicating company changes to employees and other personnel, the management team has to prepare the information adequately. It typically encourages them to consider all the aspects of implementing changes within the company to help ensure they can answer and respond to employees' concerns. Change management communication gives executives another opportunity to consider the goals and implementation processes of these changes. It also encourages critical thinking among employees, who can evaluate the changes and ask questions before the implementation.

Related: Why Critical Thinking Is Important in the Workplace

Allows feedback

Employees may send feedback after the management team communicates the company's changes. This feedback is essential for change implementation, as it ensures that employees have clarity on the actions necessary for a successful implementation. Employees may have an in-depth understanding of their departments and how best they can implement the changes there.

It also gives the management team a different perspective on the company changes. Feedback may allow the management team to modify the original change implementation action plan to fit company operations. During the feedback process, employees may ask questions that encourage the management team to conduct more research on implementing changes.

Related: How to Give Feedback Constructively in the Workplace

Sets a deadline for the implementation

The action plan for change management communication helps the management team set and include a deadline and timeline for the implementation process. This timeline allows the management team to outline the necessary steps for implementing changes and keeps them accountable. Change management communication also informs employees about when the implementation process may begin. It may also help employees manage their expectations concerning the effects of these changes and the time it requires.

Employees and executives can track the change implementation process and handle problems on time. The management team may also communicate the different milestones and targets of the implementation process, which allows employees to assess their performance during this process.

How to create a communication strategy

Here are steps you can follow to create a communication action plan:

1. Determine the objectives

Determine the goals and objectives of communicating the company changes to employees. You may consider the company's overall objectives and values when determining these goals. This may inform the decision of choosing the person who communicates the necessary changes to other employees. The communication objective may be to introduce a new production method to the company. For example, if the company utilizes traditional manufacturing methods when creating its products, the communication objective may be to inform employees about the changes in the manufacturing process. The communication action plan's objectives also affect the delivery channels the management team may use.

2. Analyze employees' personas

Stakeholder analysis can help management understand how to communicate and implement the changes. This analysis assesses how changes within a company affect the company's different roles, positions, and personnel. You can also work with experts in each department or position to understand how to plan the communication process. Understand the motivations, concerns, and challenges of different personnel within the company. This influences your communication strategy. Conducting proper research about employees' personas ensures you develop and communicate relevant information, which may improve their reception of the changes.

Related: A Complete Guide to Performing a Stakeholder Analysis

3. Create the central message

Determine the critical messages concerning the changes in the company. You may summarize the change implementation action plan in a way that's understandable to your general audience. Ensure that the message contains information regarding the timeline for the implementation and the responsibilities of different employees. You may also develop additional messages that specify details for different departments.

4. Select the delivery channels

After creating the message, select the channels you can use to deliver and communicate with stakeholders. Consider the functionality and efficiency of different delivery channels before choosing one. You may communicate company changes through e-mails, newsletters, and online forums. Physical or virtual meetings may be an effective delivery channel if you wish to include presentations and discussions while communicating the changes in the company's operations. You may also use a survey to determine the preferred delivery channel of employees and utilize it.

5. Organize meetings with leaders

You may plan strategic meetings with departmental heads, managers, and supervisors in the company. These leaders can explain the importance of the changes to their team members and monitor their implementation in their departments. It's advisable to organize this meeting and communicate the company changes to leaders before making a general announcement to the personnel in the company.

Related: How to Organize Group Meetings (Plus Why They're Important)

6. Choose feedback mechanisms

Determine how you can hear employees' opinions after implementing changes in the company. You may use surveys and questionnaires to understand the efficiency of the implementation process of these changes. Utilizing physical consultations and discussion forums can also provide a way for employees to ask questions and seek clarity on the changes the company wishes to implement.

7. Maintain constant communication

Constantly communicating with employees while implementing different changes in the company helps ensure employee engagement. This can help you track the progress and success of these changes and modify the implementation process as necessary. It also allows you to divide the information and prevent employees from becoming overwhelmed and confused.

Related: 7 Essential Channels of Communication in the Workplace

8. Conduct regular evaluations

Regularly assess the effect of these changes on the company's operations and productivity. Documenting the different stages of the implementation process may help you track the progress and gain data that shows the success of the process. You can also use this data to develop new strategies to improve the company.

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