Internal Communication19 Mar 2024Simon Druery

Internal Communications During Organisational Change: Strategies for Success

Change is an inevitable part of any organisation. Whether it occurs due to managerial, process, service or product improvements, changes help businesses to adapt to fluxing environmental forces. 

Many organisations fail to understand how to communicate effectively to their people, across all levels of the business, during the change process. Organisations that develop and adopt a framework for smooth internal communications go a long way to ensuring that every employee understands what they need to do to help during the change process.

To assist in creating that smooth change, the flow of clear and effective information to employees is paramount. Without a considered flow of information before, during and post the period of change, successful adoption and implementation becomes much more difficult.

When employees know and understand the what, how and why of the change, via internal communications, they not only support the change but become an integral part of its successful implementation. 

The importance of internal communication during change management

Without internal communication, change can become a hurdle. Employees need to have confidence that change will have a positive impact on their life. Internal communication becomes important as the centre point of all Change Management because of following reasons:

1. Internal communication helps inform employees and leaders in an organisation to reduce the uncertainties that change brings.

2. Keeps employees feeling engaged, valued, heard and motivated during the entire change process

3. Internal communications creates two-way communication (and connection) between the executives and senior leaders as well as team leaders and employees

4. Education and training aspects of change can be planned more effectively

5. Internal communication helps people understand the purpose and vision of leadership as a meaningful reason for organisational change.

6. Internal friction among employees is reduced with clear internal communication

7. Employees are supportive and therefore change is smoother.

8. Helps secures feedback such as testimonials that help optimise how the change is implemented in a better way

Effective internal communication in Change Management

For communication to be most effective, it must resolve the concerns of employees across all levels and various departments, so that they become aligned with the purpose of change.

Further, the groups that pose resistance to change can be educated and motivated through internal communications to become more positive participative in the change process. 

How to use internal communications during organisational change

For effective change implementation, having a considered framework for internal communication becomes a necessity. The following points illustrate how to craft a communication framework that supports successful change:

Key challenges in internal communications during organisational change

Challenges are inevitable during a change process even when successfully using internal communications. Being alert for these challenges can help you adapt and optimise your communications more quickly:

1. Lack of understanding, clarity

2. Irrelevant ‘noisey’ communication

3. Language issues

4. Information overload, competing messages

5. Lack of 360º feedback

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is the difference between change management and internal communications?

Change management deals with taking an organisation forward, leading to an increase in productivity and effectiveness. Whereas internal communication helps enrol the entire organisation in achieving an effective, efficient and smooth change process. 

Q. What is the role of internal communication in change management?

Internal communication supports the change process by reducing friction. This is achieved by helping employees align their energy towards common objectives through education and engagement.

Q. What role do leaders play in communicating organisational change?

Employees look to leaders for inspiration and direction. Communicating the vision of the business and explanation of why behind any changes is a key role for leaders in setting up an effective change process. When leaders show up and lead by example, they demonstrate the behaviour that is required to embrace change and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

Q. How can we measure the effectiveness of internal communications during change?

To measure the effectiveness of internal communications, set-up and measure key performance indicators based on your project’s objectives. These could include metrics around:

1. Reach - by channel

2. Awareness - survey before and after (including open rates)

3. Engagement - click-throughs, attendance, or social commenting

4. Understanding - quizzes and surveys post campaign

5. Actions taken - conversions or tracked actions

6. Anecdotal feedback - gained through interviews or focus groups

7. Advocacy - referrals or employee-led activations

8. Costs and Resourcing/Asset Management

Transform your organisational change with a strategic internal communications agency

Belong Creative has helped many leading businesses deliver change management through smart, efficient and effective internal communications. From launching business foundations like purpose/mission, promoting values and behavioural change or driving interest and action on initiatives such as diversity, respect, belonging and sustainability and more! 

Article by Simon Druery

Simon Druery is Director and Brand Strategist at Belong Creative. What gets him jumping out of bed each day is helping business owners and marketers craft brands that people want to belong to. When he’s not working you can find him travelling Australia in the family caravan and enjoying a tawny port by the fire.