Organisational change is imminent for all businesses; new management styles, stakeholders, or even a modified mission statement can make a difference in a work environment.
Altering any business component will lead to an organisational change. It is part of a PR practitioner’s duty to improve internal and external communications to foster a safe and positive change within the work culture.
WHAT IS ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE?
Organisational change is when a significant business component undergoes an alteration or change for any reason. The difficulty with converting a business component is that not every employee within the business will adjust to the modification. A PR practitioner’s role is to ensure that company’s values are being used to promote positive change within the work culture and promote the response externally to the public.
HOW DO PR PRACTITIONERS INFLUENCE ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE?
Influencing organisational change is not an easy feat – communication is one of the most challenging aspects to maintain within an organisation. The change also brings on resistance from employees, so it is crucial to start the idea of change internally before the news is made public.
Open-ended communication throughout the company is crucial from the perspective of a PR practitioner. They have to create a dialogue between the highest executives and the employees working on everyday business functions. Since communication is multi-fold, the role of the PR practitioner is to ensure that the conversation is open for anyone and everyone to participate.
Start conversations by creating, facilitating, and moderating discussions. These discussions can take the form of town hall meetings, live forums, and employee-run committees. Encourage board-level members and other executives to participate.
When employees see that higher-ups are involved and interested in their discussions, they are more likely to be motivated and are receptive to changes. Employees should be aware of these open discussions, as this is one of their best ways to voice their concerns about any difficulties or challenges within the work culture.
DEVELOP SPECIFIC MESSAGES FOR INTERNAL COMMUNICATION
Internal communications are inarguably the most essential form of communication within an organisation. Employees may feel untrusting of the hierarchy and need to be reassured that their concerns are still a priority to the organisation. Whether company values have changed or not, the PR practitioner must evaluate the situation and encourage these values within the employees.
The change will bring resistance, and great PR practitioners are aware of this fact. To prevent this, train team leads, managers and supervisors, to explain the reason behind the upcoming changes. Not only does this make employees aware of the situation, but it also ensures that the message is unified and spreads throughout the organisational body. By reiterating company values, employees will feel more confident and trusting that their company values them.
CHANGE AND IMPACT STARTS WITH INCLUSIVITY
Inclusivity is an empowering way to build trust and confidence amongst all levels of the organisation. Influencing organisational change means maximising the positive impact of the change. PR practitioners must excel at fostering a safe, healthy, and sustainable workforce. Otherwise, the employees are less trustworthy of the executives and management.
Inclusivity can mean supporting employee-run committees, creating a designated space for employees to voice their concerns, and making resources available to employees (such as an anonymous feedback tool, like a “suggestions & concerns box”).
KC Academy’s 5-day intensive course on Critical Business Skills for Communications Practitioners trains PR and communications professionals on business essentials. The course aims to teach PR practitioners an in-depth understanding of critical business skills necessary to lead an organisation to an impactful, positive structural change. For more information on this course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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