Why Communication Should be the Core of Your Change Management Plan

You have a vision for the future of your company. Perhaps you want to take your business in a new direction or upgrade your ERP software to improve efficiency. This means major changes are on the horizon. Resistance to change and the lack of support from management and staff, however, is a major cause for the failure of such expensive IT projects. Change is inevitable though, just like death and taxes. While we may constantly welcome new technology into our personal lives to make things easier, we can find it intimidating when it threatens to change our jobs. It can be especially scary for those who are not as tech savvy or fear their position will become obsolete.

Change is one part vision and technology and two parts people.

Whatever your vision is, if you do not have the support of your staff, the transition will be a rocky, unsuccessful one. The key to successfully navigating any relationship or obstacle is clear communication. As a successful business leader, you’re already a clear communicator with lines flowing freely between you, your management, and staff. This means you’re already on the road to implementing a successful change management strategy with communication and employee involvement at the center of your plan.

The single biggest failure point for ERP implementations is the need for change management.– Neville Turbet, Project Perfect

The Power of Communication

Whether it’s a lack of confidence or the fear of losing their jobs, your employees may resist the changes that you adopt. Through clear and honest communication you can mitigate their fear and remove their resistance.

  • By being transparent about your vision and involving every employee in the process, you’ll make them feel that they have a personal stake in the success of the project.
  • By explaining how the changes will affect each and every position and emphasizing the benefits, like how their jobs will get easier, you’ll let them know what they can expect along the way.
  • By giving them an outlet to safely voice their concerns and expectations, you’ll let them know that you care and respect their loyalty and hard work.
  • By teaching them the skills that they’ll need to succeed in their new positions, you’ll assure them that you want them to succeed and thrive with your company.

Always make sure that your managers and supervisors are on board with your vision. If they don’t embrace it, they can negatively influence other employees and the success of the project. As your eyes and ears in the company, your managers can more readily spot the resisters and help them work through their fears. It’ll be easier to remove the roadblocks and get all employees on board through your clear and honest communication.

Your vision for improvement costs money, so the worst thing you can do is set your project up for failure by ignoring the people who resist the change. Build your change management plan with a core of clear and honest communication, which will mitigate their fears and reassure your staff that they will always be an integral part of your business, no matter what happens.