Monday, October 5, 2009

Nonprofit HR Conference: Communication in the Nonprofit Workplace

Many nonprofits do not engage in communication planning or implementation. This means most nonprofits do not communicate with their staff when any sort of change is going to occur. Communication is so important and key for developing a positive culture within an organization.

The LEA consulting group explained five key steps to integrate communication in the change process.

1) No matter how large or small the change is, create a visual representation of the change. This visual helps communicate the change/change process.

2) Explain the prospective change to employees before it actually happens. Explain what is changing, why it is changing, what it is not changing and who is guiding the change. Then discuss that change with employees. Get their input and response. How do they feel about the change?

Also, if the change is long-term, the change needs to re-communicated to the staff 6months and 1 year into the process.

3) Develop targeted messaging for the change.

4) Then test the targeting messaging in conversations among different constituents in the organization (e.g. advisory groups, online blogs and posting).

Many leaders don’t want to communicate something to their staff until it is perfect. However, change needs to be discussed before it actually happens. The MEMO method will not suffice. The change process described above gets leaders away from perfection to a focused change process with purposeful feedback from employees during the process.

5) Evaluate results of the change and redirect if necessary.

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