It’s rhythm that keeps you moving
The major pitfall when it comes to change processes? Spending too much time on formulating a change story, when and how you communicate it, and then afterwards – perhaps because everyone is incredibly busy and people are happy that they ‘got it done’ – things go quiet. That’s when the issues of the day take over again. The solution? Right from the start, set a rhythm for communications. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are communicating to the various target groups. And, above all, how often.
Rhythm keeps you moving. And if you fall silent, your target groups will soon think that their job is done. But change takes staying power. So what exactly is a communications rhythm? It’s based on three things: peak, pulse and continuous communication.
If you fall silent, your target groups will soon think that their job is done. But change takes staying power."
Peak communications moments are high-impact activations that connect employees to each other and help them accelerate in terms of specific topics. These take place approximately twice a year, for instance through online or face-to-face events that engage employees with the progress of the change in an interactive way. Or an activation that prompts colleagues to contribute their ideas or take action. Great peak moments are relevant to everyone, set a goal for a specific time and often have a high fun factor. They stimulate employees to think – and especially act – differently.
These are activities, interventions or assets that are deployed several times a month. A good mix of informing and involving is crucial here. Pulse moments bring the change message to life for employees because they regularly hear, see or read about it. They can observe colleagues participating, see evidence and progress, are involved in the change in different ways and get to work on it. Pulse moments include recurring content formats such as blogs, vlogs or podcasts, and town halls or team sessions.
Permanent communication has a lower impact but still needs to be carefully managed so as to avoid too much organisational ‘noise’."
By continuous communication, we mean the ongoing stream of news, figures and updates shared through the intranet, an employee app or team leaders. This type of communication has a lower impact but still needs to be carefully managed so as to avoid too much organisational ‘noise’. This is vital: otherwise, employees will no longer consider the information relevant and will tune out.
A good rhythm, supported by a calendar with peak, pulse and continuous communication, provides an overview and gives you control of the various messages relevant to managers and employees. Ideally, you should already have this in place before the change is first announced. Then, immediately after the announcement, you can keep moving forward at the rhythm that’s best for your organisation.