When we communicate a change in technology, it is important to think about what we are saying as well as who is saying it. A clear message on why the change is happening will naturally lead end-users to ask the question ‘how’ which primes them for training.  When the right person is sending this message, it is more likely to be received without resistance. 

 

BrainStorm QuickHelp™ provides change agents with a host of templates for communicating changes with end users, including templates for executive sponsors and managers/supervisors. Here we’ll discuss executive sponsor communications, when you should send them, why they are important, and next steps that will guide you to the resources we have to help.

 

When should you send communication through an executive sponsor?

At the start of any adoption efforts that will impact the entire organization or any large teams, it is vital someone at the top communicates why that change is important. According to research from PROSCI Change Management, “Senior leaders are the preferred senders of messages about the business reasons for change, as well as the risks or costs of not changing.” A good sponsor announces the change, models the change, and also checks in on the change from time to time. It is vital that they do not disappear after the initial communication.


The value 

Executive Sponsor Communications will help your change and adoption efforts by:  

 

  • Legitimizing the Change
    When it comes to launching a new software, it is easy for employees to see it as optional. They have a job they need to do and finding time to learn a new tool does not feel like part of it. When we communicate change from a senior leader, it increases the importance and connects it to the organization: “Even if the content of a message is exactly the same, employees will evaluate the sender of the message. Using preferred senders ensures that messages are received as intended and that the change is taken seriously.” *
      
  • Reducing Resistance 
    Any software adoption effort is bound to have resistance. People do not like change and any communication around change will be met with questions and concerns. It is for that reason, strategic planning with executive and manager/supervisor communications are vital to reducing that resistance: “Ineffective sponsorship resulted in more resistance and slower progress toward realizing the organization’s desired results.” [1]
     

Tips/Recommendations

  • Highly visible
    The term executive sponsor can carry different meanings in different organizations. When we are searching for an executive sponsor to help with communications, we use a simple question to determine fit – “If a typical employee at the company got an email from this person, would they a) know who the person is and b) would they be motivated to read it?”. Highly visible leaders past the test and are the best fit for this type of communication.

  • Text over html
    Leaders don’t often compose highly formatted, marketing-esque emails. Text-based emails come from humans and we prefer to read emails that come from humans and not machines. It’s not uncommon for HTML emails to have a 25% lower open rate and 50% lower click through rate than plain text email [2]

  • Be authentic
    It’s ok if the leader has yet to or is struggling to adopt the change you are implementing. We value authenticity. All the leader needs to have is a desire to make the change and to communicate that. “Join me on this journey” resonates better than “I’ve got this all figured out”.

  • Support resources
     Your executive will not likely be available to take direct questions, but users will have them. Clarify in the executive sponsor email where users can go for more information and help.

 

Next steps 

  1. If you haven’t already done so, secure executive sponsor participation (this may take time).

  2. Review/customize QuickHelp-provided communication templates in the QuickHelp resources section of the admin portal.
    1. Look at the “Adoption: Communication insights” resources for more information on communications.

  3. Ask your executive sponsor to send out communications at the beginning of your campaign.

  4. Encourage ongoing communication from your sponsor throughout the campaign.

     

 

Looking for more? 

Have questions or looking for more ideas? Try the following:  

Contact your 

Client Success Manager

 

They’ll be happy to help you plan
your communication efforts.


Start a conversation in the 

BrainStorm Customer Network 

 

Find out what other customers are
doing with communications. 



Add to the 

Feedback Portal 

 

Have an idea for how we can improve?  

Let us know and we’ll take a closer look.


Submit a 

Support Ticket 

 

Having trouble getting to these resources?  

Technical support can help.