Communication Plans: What It Is & Why It’s Important
In our experience, communication plans are an overlooked element of a change management process or new process or system rollout. All of this work and all of these incredible new features and benefits, but no one knows about it!
A communication plan is integrated throughout the entire change management process, and relates to communicating to the organization, general public, or stakeholders. Each communication plan will vary in its contents, but are equal in priority.
Communication plans provide an organized version of a sequence of events.
The W’s: What happened or is happening? Who? What? When? Where? And most importantly…why? As this is the resolution of a long term process, it provides answers to questions gathered throughout the process. If a communication plan is well thought out with the input of multiple stakeholders, there should be very little to no room for confusion.
Communication plans are a final opportunity to emphatically describe and enumerate the benefits of the changes in the organization.
The recipients on the email chain of the communication plan should be able to clearly, concisely, and succinctly enumerate the benefits of the changes. There should be cross-departmental understanding of the information.
Communication plans extend a hand of collaboration and say “here’s how to get involved.”
Communication plans are a time to, believe it or not, get excited! The organization is jumping into an exciting new chapter with comprehensive systems, processes, and procedures. It’s time to inject excitement and enthusiasm into what lies ahead.
Communication plans provide knowledge, context, and a forum for additional information.
The communication plan strives to proactively answer questions. At this juncture, there is no stone left unturned. If there are questions, this is a great time to provide additional structure and a next step. Note: All of our communication plans designate a ‘point person’ to do just this.
Communication plans commit to transparency and information sharing.
Successful organizations have a high level of transparency and information sharing. Gone are the days that organizations are shroud in secrecy about the critical elements of the organization that affect employees. One transformational element of communication plans is that it establishes a procedure and expectation setting of regular communication from top down.
If you’ve tried streamlining processes and implementing SOPs before, but the organization hasn’t taken hold– did you have a communication plan?