This past decade, business communicators have had to rethink their strategies to deliver multidimensional messages about organizational overhauls to anxious workforces. With emerging and trending technologies making once-arduous tasks past frustrations for corporations, countless employees are in the presence of uncertain futures – panic triggered by coronavirus repercussions only exacerbating worries.
Now more than ever, shaping the narrative to elevate the employee experience is the priority for companies in the midst of major operational transformations. And, as luck would have it, Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta, founder and CEO of The Change Leadership conferences and events—including Leading Change in the 4th Industrial Revolution—has made ‘supporting professionals and organizations to lead and transition through change’ her life’s mission and advocacy avenue.
“One of the core skills related to change leadership is demonstrating empathy to build trust,” she explains. “Communicators must take a human-centred design approach to change management messaging to make corporate transformations more manageable for everyone impacted.”
Business Communicators as Change Leaders
The conduits through which change is conveyed, business communicators must keep eyes peeled in all directions, says Yvonne. Through her polished Change Leadership lens, she shares her top three tips for supporting organizational change through effective communications in the fourth industrial revolution.
- Stay aware of emerging technology trends. For communications professionals to deliver messaging about digital transformation more effectively, they need to understand what is happening in the market. “Waiting for the change management or technology lead to say, ‘this is the change, and this is what you need to communicate’, isn’t conducive to a successful company transition, if the communicator doesn’t have a well-informed view of the implications for employees,” says Yvonne. “As opposed to just receiving and sending information, they need to be the architects of a strategy with a big-picture perspective.”
- Empower employees through education. Even before an organization has its specific digital transformation plan established, communicators can start to create employee awareness of evolutions in technology and market changes. “What better way to get employees participating and sharing ideas to contribute to the development of the company and start thinking more innovatively about their jobs?” Yvonne points out. “Everybody needs to be leading and driving change within an organization.”
- Encourage two-way communication engagement. “This is where culture comes into the game,” explains Yvonne, “because it’s not just about creating that open channel; it’s about having the type of culture in which leaders are open to receiving feedback.” Communicators can provide counsel to executive leaders and reshape the message in a way that makes employees feel comfortable providing feedback. Of course, adds Yvonne, “it is up to organizational leadership to walk the talk.”
The key to fourth industrial revolution change communications really is to balance what organizations want to say, with what employees need to hear and understand, says Yvonne. “In this way, communicators can truly make all the difference.”
For additional insights, strategies and solutions to help lead and respond to change is today’s dynamic and disruptive business environment, register for The Change Leadership’s FREE Masterclass.