Will this be a year of change?
The start of a New Year (and I count February) is a great time to be thinking about setting BHAGs - Big Hairy Audacious Goals. A chance to look at where the business is going, to dream big and identify positive routes for change.
Because the goals are Big and Audacious, one or two maximum are good. Where will the business be this time next year? What needs to happen to get there?
Whatever the dream, whatever the path, it’s important to take others on your journey with you. From employees to customers and the wider world – the more others feel involved, the greater the chance of success.
Communicating effectively to employees doesn’t have to be arduous - and whether you have one employee or 30, they deserve to be kept up-to-date of your plans.
Consider setting aside time in the coming month/s to talk about your vision for this year and get their feedback. You don’t have to give exact details or plans but a scheduled meeting helps them appreciate the importance and keeps them engaged.
It’s good practice to email the outcome of the discussion after the meeting (any interesting feedback received, next steps etc.) and then follow-up in a couple of months with an update email so they know what’s happening and continue to feel in the loop.
Even better – get them involved in helping set the BHAG/s for the company – great ideas can come from anywhere!
Employee communication should focus on taking them on the journey with you.
Customer and Client Relations
Any change (especially positive) should be communicated with customers and clients as soon as possible.
It’s not necessary to take them on the journey, but for them to feel nurtured it’s good to communicate change directly with them in advance of telling the wider world.
Consider an email update, a letter (old school can work!) or even a phone call depending on the importance of your contact.
Messaging should focus on the benefits of the change to them. What will this mean in terms of how you communicate with them in future? How they will buy from you? Will things now be easier for them? What new and added value can they expect? By stressing these points they will engage sooner rather than later and potentially become advocates on your behalf.
Let them know when you will be telling the wider world – make the point that you’re letting them know first. Every little helps with customer loyalty!
Change to the business shouldn’t just be communicated to employees and customers. It’s a chance to get the wider world to take note – news is always interesting, particularly if shared in the right way.
Similarly to the messaging for customers and clients, consider what the change will mean to the wider world – why should it take note? Will the change differentiate you from your competitors?
If the change is linked directly to a BHAG, it’s worthwhile sharing your vision for the future so that the wider world can appreciate that the business is committed to focusing on the long-term.
Perhaps the change warrants an event to invite customers and prospects to; a launch or an education workshop that could see you join-up with partner businesses to offer something of value.
The ‘news’ of the change is the hook – but ultimately you want it to provide a launch-pad to introduce the business and showcase your expertise and strengths. How might you do this?
If your business is considering change this year, I’d be happy to brainstorm some ways to make the most of your plans – please do get in touch.
But in the meantime, good luck! xx