By Ronelle Bester, Owner and Director of Red Ribbon Communications
The digital age demands a new kind of communications leader. It seems 2019 will (finally) be the year of communications transformation needed for sustainable change and long-term success. So, what should you focus on?
If you’re running a business in 2019, digital transformation should be on your mind. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a one-man band decorating cakes at home, or stand at the head of a multi-national corporation with hundreds of employees – it affects you. From how you engage with your customers, issue invoices, to how staff apply for leave or even claim expenses. The key issue for big organisations is without employee buy-in, you will struggle to reap the rewards. Effective communication is the key.
Here are four vital steps to ensure a smooth and rewarding transformation process:
Identify and formulate your vision
First things first, you need to know what your vision is and you need to formulate it in a way that is compelling, yet simple to understand. This vision needs to start at the top. Executives must build this vision for transformation and set tangible targets. As a communicator, you have an exciting opportunity – to create enthusiasm around a new way of working, reshape organisational culture and a chance to deliver better experiences to your customers.
Get your troops on board
Once your message is formulated, it’s time to get your employees on board. If you want to facilitate lasting change, you have to engage with your team and communicate what must be achieved, and why, for everyone to understand how crucial it is. Address the need for change at the hand of examples that show how these shifts in operational strategy will enable them to excel in their positions.
Rally your generals
You can’t drive digital transformation alone. If you want to be successful in your bid to facilitate change at grassroots level, you have to start from the top down. Engage with your senior leaders and equip them with the tools they require to build commitment and enable alignment to the new strategy. These are the people who provides day-to-day leadership, and you need to be sure that they are rallied to your cause.
Communicate clearly and consistently
Consider these guidelines for clear and consistent communication:
Have fun with branding: Make your change initiatives easy to remember by coming up with a distinct brand for easy recognition and slogans that can be repeated frequently.
Show your work: Employees are far more likely to buy into change if they can see how it will benefit the organisation and that it ties in with the business’ overall goals. Help the organisation to see how every action is a part of the larger strategy.
Lead by example: Be the change you want to see in your organisation – use new technology, mobile devices and social media for your communication efforts.
Get the word out: Share your digital drive with potential customers and talent to brand your company as an innovative organisation. Internally, it will create excitement about the change.
By following these four steps, you will lay the groundwork for a fuss-free digital transformation within your business.