The Role of Internal Communications in Change Management: How to Communicate Change Effectively

Nataša Mlađenović
Nataša Mlađenović
Apr 12, 20238 minute read

Change is a necessary and powerful force, it's what drives progress and innovation — but it's no secret that it can also be the source of major headaches.

Roughly 60% of organizational change programs fail to achieve their goal either completely or partially, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.

It’s essential to understand that change management should be done with the employees in mind.

streamlining communication strategy for easier change initiative adoption - Lorino

Change is not just about implementing new processes; it’s also about helping employees adapt to new ways of working and feel comfortable in the transition.

In this article, we’ll discuss the role of internal communications in change management and how to communicate change effectively.

What is Change Management?

Change management is a term that refers to the process of leading the people's side of change to achieve a desired outcome. It involves communicating, motivating, and supporting employees who are affected by a change in the organization, such as a new strategy, structure, system, or culture.

Change management can help reduce resistance, increase engagement, and ensure the successful adoption of the change.

The term change management can be traced back to the 1960s when researchers such as Kurt Lewin and John Kotter developed models and frameworks for understanding and managing organizational change.

Since then, change management has evolved into a multidisciplinary field that draws on psychology, sociology, business, and project management. Change management is now widely recognized as a critical success factor for any organizational change initiative.

Why do Change Initiatives Fail?

Change initiatives are basically any large-scale implementations that change the way an organization works.

These initiatives have an important part to play in the success of an organization and are therefore planned to the finest detail.

However, change initiatives often fail because employees are reluctant to accept them, leading to a lack of compliance or commitment toward the project.

And although there is no definitive answer on why employees are resistant to change, some of the most common reasons are:

  1. Lack of clear vision and goals: For change initiatives to be accepted, employees need to understand why the change is necessary and how it will benefit them.

  2. Lack of leadership support and alignment: Leadership support is critical for successful change initiatives. Leaders must have a thorough understanding of the initiative and be able to effectively communicate that knowledge to their teams, as well as model the desired behavior.

  3. Lack of employee engagement and participation: Change initiatives need to involve and engage the employees who are affected by the change and who will implement the change.

Employees need to understand the rationale and benefits of the change, have a voice in the process, and receive adequate training and support. Without employee engagement and participation, change initiatives can encounter apathy, anxiety, and resentment.

The Role of Internal Communications in Change Management

Communication is vital for successful change initiatives: it helps everyone stay on the same page and understand why the changes are necessary, builds trust and credibility among those involved, encourages feedback from all perspectives, and reinforces desired behaviors.

Internal communication plays a key role in these strategies; it helps to engage employees, create dialogue, and open channels for questions and feedback.

It also provides a compelling vision of the desired future state by demonstrating how the change aligns with organizational values, goals, and mission, and how it will benefit everyone involved personally and professionally.

Moreover, internal communications can help provide accurate information about what’s changing, why, when, and how; it can help dispel rumors and address resistance.

Finally, internal communication helps to provide guidance and training for new ways of working. It helps monitor performance and measure results, reward achievements and celebrate successes.

Overall, effective internal communication can be a powerful tool to ensure successful change management. It helps create trust and acceptance of the changes while providing a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration among those involved.

How to Communicate Change Effectively?

As we’ve seen, effective communication is essential for successful change initiatives. But how do you communicate change effectively? Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Start with a clear purpose:

Before you even begin to communicate the change, be sure you have a solid understanding of its purpose and how it will benefit everyone involved.

What is the goal? What are the desired outcomes?

As the change leader, start with finding a few change managers and getting them on board. Communicate your vision and purpose to them and ensure they understand it.

2. Craft a clear message:

Once you have a clear understanding of the change initiative and its purpose, craft a simple, concise, and compelling message about the change that everyone can understand.

All Essential IC Metrics in One Dashboard

Communicate better and smarter with data-driven insights.

Be sure to tie in how the change will benefit employees personally and professionally.

And again, as the change leader you need to make sure the message is communicated clearly and consistently throughout the organization - your change managers should be able to articulate your message and vision in their own words.

3. Create a solid plan:

Having a detailed plan of action is essential for successful communication. What channels will you use? Who are the key stakeholders? How will you craft the messages? When and how often will they be sent out?

Think about how you can use the channels at your disposal to craft a holistic communication strategy. This could include emails, webinars, videos, town halls, etc.

4. Listen and involve:

Your plan should also involve listening - to both internal and external stakeholders. Have people on hand to answer questions and take feedback and use that to improve your plan.

Also, consider involving employees in the change process and give them a voice - this will help build trust and create buy-in for the changes.

When employees feel heard and involved, they are more likely to accept the change.

5. Celebrate successes:

Highlight the successes achieved through change initiatives so that employees are motivated to continue working on them.

The important part is to celebrate all successes, big or small, and recognize the contributions of individuals or teams. This will help to strengthen morale and motivate people to continue working on the change initiatives.

6. Address resistance early on:

Anticipate potential areas of resistance and address them early on. Listen closely to the concerns of employees and try to understand their perspectives.

Be prepared to provide data, facts, stories, or other evidence that support your message. This will help combat resistance and bring people on board with the change initiative.

7. Promote a culture of change:

The fear of change is natural and can’t be eliminated entirely. However, creating a culture of change and innovation will help to reduce the fear associated with it.

Encourage employees to think creatively and look for opportunities to challenge the status quo. This will foster an atmosphere of openness and experimentation which is essential for successful change management.

Once your organization gets into the habit of embracing change, it will become easier to handle and communicate future changes.

In Conclusion

Change is not only inevitable but essential for growth and staying competitive. It can be daunting, but with the right approach and a sound communication plan, you can make it easier to implement changes and ensure they are embraced by everyone in your organization.

By communicating the purpose and benefit of the change, listening to your employees, and promoting a culture of change, you can make sure that the transition is smooth and successful. With everyone on board with the process, it will benefit everyone involved.

Contact support



Receive tips on how to build a positive workplace, improve team dynamics and increase productivity.

Sign up now to get ahead of the curve!

© Lorino 2023, Codaxy. All rights reserved.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Cookie policy