The people are the difference in any organisation and that is absolutely the case in any successful change project. That has been our personal experience when working within the charity sector over the last 7 years – and effective communication is key for people to be engaged. It was the critical success factor on a charity project we have recently completed – the leadership and communication was vital to deliver to the tight timescales.
Charities have ambitious targets and are looking to adapt into the digital age. Our observation is that each charity has its own unique set of challenges and outcomes they are looking to achieve for the People they Support. The glue that holds it all together are the colleagues within those organisations that make the difference to the supported people’s lives.
That is why when embarking on any change project it is critical to make sure that the communication approach is well thought through, planned out and executed – so that you keep your colleagues with you on every step of the change journey. There are a few recommendations we can share to make sure that your project is successful in engaging those colleagues who you need to be on board through effective communication.
A good analogy to think about is if your project was to build a new house.
Laying the Foundations
– it is important that your colleagues understand what is driving the change and why it is needed now
– if you are undertaking a large transformational project, it is important that colleagues don’t feel overwhelmed
– so colleagues can understand what is needed from them and when
Building the Walls
– as your colleague’s time is precious these updates should be kept short to make sure have time to read and digest
– depending on the change it can be beneficial to hear from the Sponsor (accountable for the project) and also a peer on the project team, giving different perspectives
– there will be external and internal communications you want to share and they need to be handled differently
– this may seem an obvious one, but it is not to be underestimated as you want to encourage your colleagues to offer the best support they can give, and their concerns will be based on their day-to-day experiences
Putting on the Roof and Keeping it in Place!
– make sure the training ties back to the goal and outcomes you are looking to achieve to solidify the message
– to enable clear tracking of the feedback, the action being taken and loop back to the colleague to makes sure that the learning can be acted upon
– with any change there will be ongoing support needed to make sure the changes remain in place to see the benefits you expect
You want to keep the passionate colleagues you are working with involved during the project to make for a successful implementation, and gee up the not so passionate ones to bring them on board. This will be the difference between the change being successful or not.
Optimum PPS use this sort of approach on all charity change projects we undertake as we recognise the importance of getting the right level of communication in place to keep colleagues and external stakeholders on board with the changes.