Monday, July 21, 2014

Half of the change projects fail due to poor communication

Almost half of all change management projects fail. One of the reasons: Top managers overvalue their communication skills during change. 

According to the "Change Fitness Study 2012" 71 percent of the surveyed business leaders think that they have openly and clearly communicated the challenges and risks of a change project. But only 32 percent of the employees share this opinion. Self-image and external view diverge widely. While 56 percent of the top managers are convinced that they inspire employees for future change management projects, only 26 percent of employees agree to this perception. Even when it comes to the question of whether employees are fully informed, the results are different. 58 percent believe that their employees are optimally integrated in all processes. However, this view is only shared by 28 percent of employees. Around 300 people of the upper and middle management as well as employees of enterprises of various size and industries were interviewed as part of the "Change Fitness Study 2012".

Change communications needs transparency

In change management, project communication acts as a catalyst. Communication in change processes should create transparency, resolve resistance, drive processes and ensure integration. In order to succeed, communication should be: focused on the different target groups, personal or even discussed face-to-face, timely and adequate, done by executives supported by managers at all levels.

Face-to-face communication particularly important

Change management communication is performed in phases on the basis of a sophisticated and detailed communication plan. It ideally explains the rationale for the necessary change, the reasons for particular urgency, but also visions, goals and strategies. The challenges and risks should be explicitly addressed. Also face-to-face communication is particularly important to make sure that the messages are understood at all levels. That is where the dialogue with employees starts to work. Only those who understand the reason for a change, are ready for it. Only those who change their mind and attitude, may also change behavior and actions. And only those who have time and space for trial and error, may also able to share the change. 

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