Communication is very essential while implementing change in an organization. A planned change cannot take place in an organization through automation. Rather, the implementation and sustenance of change is accomplished through human communication. Even though communication is vital in the failure or success of an the change effort of an organization, little information is known about strategies a leader can effectively use to communicate organizational change as well as the types of conversations a change leader must have to communicate the change. Besides, it is very critical to understand basic skills necessary for effective communication. This paper is concerned with advancing a stronger conceptual understanding of these treatments for effective change implementation in an organization.
Both programmatic change communication and participatory will be effectively employed to build employee commitment and buy-in. The “framing” communication strategy will be used in building employee commitment. This strategy emphasizes the need to use linguistics and management of meaning to successfully disseminate change downward the organization. In particular, the word of change will be spread and sold by offering information to help the employees “make sense” of the leader’s vision for the change (Palmer et al, 2008). Employees are likely embrace change ones they fully understand and make sense out of the change itself (Palmer et al, 2008). This eventually builds employee commitment and buy-in in change implementation.
Equally, targeting the right audience to receive the planned change messages will be used as a communication strategy. The strategy of equal dissemination will be used by disseminating detailed and updated information on all the issues about the organization’s planned change throughout the change process. This communication strategy is effective in that it minimizes complaints from the employees who decry that they were neglected and never received enough information. This thus ensures their commitment and buy-in in the change process (Palmer et al, 2008). As well, the need to know communication strategy will be employed whereby the messages will be carefully chosen, edited and adapted so that they appeal to the interests of employees. This definitely wins their commitment.
Similarly, in the participatory approach, the communication strategies that will be adopted is the equal participation strategy that basically entails the integration of a two-way communication to distribute the information to the employees about the planned change, while at the same time requesting for input from them. Based on this strategy, the employees will be perceived as having equitable and important voice during change implementation. When employees feel valued, their commitment is built. Conversely, change can be installed in the absence of sufficient opportunities and information. The two-way conversations are essential for digesting the change. The two-way communication is effective in that it creates understanding and awareness pertinent for winning the commitment of employees (Palmer et al, 2008). For the employees to embrace change, they must invest in the changes, and they can only undertake that when the benefits of change are communicated to them in a two-way conversation.
The types of conversations a change leader must have to communicate change will be those that relate to the change benefits, initiative conversations, performance, conversations for understanding, and the conversations for closure. The conversation must constitute the change benefits. Employees rarely welcome change if the benefits are not comprehended. Thus, there is dire need to engage in conversations that present the conceptual benefits of the planned change besides the practical ones. This can constitute physical demonstration of the benefits. The conversation should touch on the benefits to the employee as well to the general organization.
Whereas the initiative conversations introduces new alternatives or ideas to the organization’s current practices, the conversations for understanding will be effective in offering opportunities for making clarity, elaborate, raise questions so that employees fully understand the need of the change and the change process. This is likely to win their commitment to the change. Equally, conversations for performance will specifically be designed for the generation of results and actions. Such conversations will promise specific commitments from the employees and will make the employees conceptualize what is expected of them, expected results and deadlines (Palmer et al, 2008). Lastly, there will be the closure conversations. These will serve to close the differences on employee commitments, review the change status and frequently engage in the discussion of the actions which have been completed. Basically, these conversations will be very vital in communicating change to the employees and will eventually build employee commitment and buy-in.
For the employees to feel supported throughout the change process and for them to open their positive emotions, the leader must employ certain skills in effectively communicating the change. Therefore, as one leading the change and communicating the change, excellent interpersonal skills, listening skills and storytelling skills are essential. The leader must be able to communicate efficiently and clearly (Durant, 1999). Additionally, good listening skills are pertinent. The individual must either use listening for learning skills, identifying assumptions skills, or reflective skills to effectively get the response from the employees and thereafter effectively communicate the change. Equally, the skill of story is essential as it helps employees learn from the previous changes besides presenting the future paintings (Palmer et al, 2008). Lastly, the individual must have the ability to sell the change upward. He/she must skillfully influence the senior management’s attention towards the change besides effectively managing problems.
Clampitt, P. G. and Berk, L. R. (n.d). Strategically Communicating Organizational Change. Retrieved 26 November 2012 from
Durant, M. W. (1999). Managing Organizational Change: Credit Research Foundation. Retrieved 26 November 2012 from
Palmer, I., Dunford, R. and Akin, G. (2008). Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. 2nd edition. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.