5 communication tips to make process change smoother

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Craig Reid

Believe it or not, process excellence is not all about systems - it is about people. And unlike machines or other system components, people need higher levels of communication.

Here are five ways to oil the wheels of process change:

#1. Plan

Before you do anything, draft a communications plan. This should include the messages you want to communicate, the mediums you will use to communicate and the timeframes for the communications. But who are you communicating with…?

#2. Identify your audience

Who will be the process owners? Who is involved? You need to ensure that these people feel loved from day 1. More communication is better than less. Explain to them what you are trying to do, what help you need from them and how you are going to perform the work.

How do you get your point across?

#3. Start off big

You may think that by identifying your key audience that you have covered all your bases, but be sure to expand your communications to as many people as you can (within reason). There are always people who are left out of the loop who feel that they should be involved. It’s important to make these people feel that their opinions are being heard or they can inflict negative PR on your process change. Remember, however, that the bigger the audience for communication the more general your communication should be.

#4. Build Rapport

By this I mean that you should get to know your audience personally. The more you can break down barriers and understand personality types the more likely they will be to co-operate with you. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their lives outside of work. They may even start to think of you as a human being!

#5. Make it regular, consistent

Whatever communications you are performing you need to make sure that it is regular. This is because it often takes time for a message to sink in. The world is so filled with communication "noise" that it may take a number of communications before people start to "get it". This is why the communication needs to be consistent, in order to hammer home the message. It’s like beating a drum over and over – eventually people will hear it and start to walk in step.


First published on www.theprocessninja.com. Reprinted with permission.