Communicate Change Effectively

Develop communication strategies that enable you to expertly manage change

Constant change exacts a performance penalty

As companies continue to adapt strategies, processes and technologies to stay competitive, employees have felt the pace and impact of change increase from even three years ago.

Employees suffering from change-related stress perform 5% worse than the average employee. For the average company, this translates to a $32.5 million hit to the bottom line per $1 billion in revenue.

Prepare for more frequent change

Most communicators try to combat the performance penalty by increasing employee buy-in to change. This approach worked well when large-scale change happened infrequently, but with today's pace of change, employees don't have the luxury of recovering from the previous change before the next one hits them.

Lessen the negative impact of change

Frequent change negatively impacts employee performance. Communications teams that focus on driving employee commitment to change rather than on increasing employee capability will create more stress for employees and actually harm performance.

Build your employees’ change capability

Realizing the benefits of transformation requires more than creating a commitment to change; it’s ultimately about creating or re-establishing employees’ capability to change. While employee commitment to change does increase performance, the capability to change has over three times as much impact.

Gartner insights add value to the way we implement communication initiatives.

Anders Schroll

Vice President Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, H. Lundbeck A/S

Five communication steps for successful change

  1. Help your employees plan for change with information to rebuild their skills, relationships and beliefs.
  2. Create a change messaging strategy to build self-confidence and encourage information seeking.
  3. Coach senior leaders to help employees decipher market trends and form a connection to strategy.
  4. Invest in managers' communication skills to support employee independence.
  5. Connect metrics to desired outcomes, and adjust your tactics when change stalls.

Gartner’s Communications Experts

Dorian Cundick

Principal Executive Advisor, Gartner Research & Advisory

Rick DeLisi

Principal Executive Advisor, Gartner Research & Advisory