If you are a Transportation Director, we understand the difficulties of communicating a policy change. You likely worry that someone won’t hear the news - or that they will disagree. In order to effectively communicate changes within your school corporation or company, it’s important to consider the following guidelines:
Communicate 3x (at least!)
The key to any change is to communicate, re-communicate, and then communicate again. You want to make sure that you over communicate as opposed to under communicate the change so that people have multiple opportunities to hear the news. We live in a busy world, and people are bombarded with so many messages that we have learned to tune them out. Make sure you communicate it early and often!
Use multiple channels
If the change only affects a handful of people, we recommend you tell them face to face. However, if you need to get the word out to a large audience about a policy change, use all the communication channels you can. Contact the local newspaper to see if they will run a story (or at least the notes from the school board meeting when it was passed). Put the news on Facebook. Update the school’s web site to reflect the change. Tweet about it. Share the updated news with students in their announcements (however those are communicated). If you’re communicating to young children, send home the information in a newsletter or flier. Use every communications medium you can think of, even flying a banner behind an airplane if you think that might work. :)
Explain why, how, and when
Whatever the policy change, we encourage you to be open about why the policy changed. People want to be informed. If they understand your logic, then most likely they will support the decision. Also share with them how this affects them. Oftentimes, people simply want to know the bottom line:how this will change their life/routine. Finally, make sure people know when the policy will be implemented so that they know when to expect the changes.
We can’t guarantee a flawless transmission of your changes - or how people might respond - but your audience is more likely to be supportive if they are aware and understand the why, how, and when.