[Decoding] Why video is your best ally for change management
By Nicolas Pagniez
Your communication strategy is an important part of your approach to change management. It’s important to develop general communication with the support of management to establish the strategic vision for this transformation. This communication must then be supplemented by more targeted messages involving business sectors and practices. This type of content should ideally be designed by business line ambassadors, sponsors and managers involved in the project.
Communicate on video to dispel doubts and promote
To successfully carry out a digital transformation project, it’s important that all your employees feel involved and are informed of the benefits of the transformation. This means creating messages that will help to gain their trust. This trust is earned through communication aimed at ensuring the transparency of the new actions taken since the greatest resistance is often the result of a lack of information. Make sure not to underestimate company rumours in the implementation of new working methods and in a digital transition process.
In addition, the more information is made easily available, the weaker the resistance will be.
Regarding the accessibility of information, you can also create a library or a content chain on a video hosting platform so each employee can access this information 24/7. Used this way, video improves the communication process by providing better access to information and ensuring its consistency.
For example, an announcement that concerns all company is first made on site A, the central company site. Sites B, C and D won’t get the announcement made by management on site A, especially if the sites are abroad. In this case, you can record the announcement and create a video that will then be broadcast to all employees of the other sites B, C and D. This way, you can prevent the distortion of the message from one site to another and ensure the quality level of the information! Remember that a clear vision of the objectives is more easily shared and accepted, thus ensuring a smooth transition.
Involve employees through video by promoting ambassador content
To ensure a smooth transition, the ideal situation would be to involve all of your employees and invite them to participate in the changes rather than be subjected to them. To have them participate in the changes, you can choose to break down communication silos among the different company sectors and have employees who have already adopted the new solution spread the word. Having them get the message across means training ambassadors as new producers of content, thus multiplying your “voice” regarding the digital project in question.
This strategy also allows you to engage all employees: those who directly participate in it are rewarded by this communication project, which allows others to more easily accept the innovations being implemented.
Video, a training tool for supporting change management
Some digital projects require training on a rather large scale to facilitate the transition. In this regard, video can be considered either as a training tool in itself, for tutorials or MOOCs, or as a supplementary educational tool for training strategies that combine in-person and digital elements. It’s important to note that video is a suitable and effective format for popularising a subject, breaking down a concept and simplifying complex mechanisms.
Multiply communication channels to establish new uses
A successful communication plan when managing change requires you to spread the word and expand the reach of your messages to all your audiences. This amplification involves increasing the number of spaces for discussing the project. This includes creating opportunities for in-person communication, such as events, meetings and one-on-one discussions. It also involves virtual and interactive communication, such as news stories on the site, informative emails and documents on the Intranet. Video can clearly play a central role as a multichannel format.
John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor and specialist in leading change, popularised a method for managing this type of project in eight essential steps. The fourth step requires project leaders to multiply communication channels to establish new uses. “The more you use different channels, the more likely it is that the change will be long-lasting,” he says in his Leading Change.
Use video to give meaning to your project
Strategic communication during change management is intended to give meaning to innovation and to respond to objections and resistance to change. It requires constant feedback on whether the people involved have understood the project and the actions to be taken in this context. The initial feedback will also help you gauge whether your messages are persuasive, which John Kotter, a specialist in leading change and Harvard
Business School professor, calls the “bullshit detector.” This term means that your employees will evaluate your messages. If they find them convincing, they will easily adhere to your project. And, on the contrary, if you receive mixed responses to your messages, it will be more difficult for your teams to engage in your digital project. In other words, if your message is not accepted, your project will not succeed.
So consider changing your communication strategy by including more transparency or at least authentic content that will reassure your teams. We recommend that you consider conducting video interviews on the first cases of implementation and the initial feedback. You can also celebrate the first success stories. These messages, which also convey emotions, enable employees to engage in the solution and to participate in a kind of transparent, peer-to-peer communication. And in this context, an employee video has good chances of passing the “bullshit detector” test with flying colours!
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