Once your organisation’s vision, strategy and actions are ready, it is time to communicate your strategy to employees and other stakeholders. It is important for the organisation to have clear and consistent messages outlining the data analysis, business case and vision. All leaders should understand and communicate consistent messages.
Communication and engagement with stakeholders is essential for the success of the strategy, as stakeholders often appreciate being asked for their input, which can make them more supportive of change.
Communicating and implementing gender equality policies and strategies is the foundation for change. However cultural change can be slow and complex. The organisational change process towards gender equality will be the longest step in the process and requires constant maintenance to ensure the process does not lose momentum.
The success of your strategy also depends on visible and ongoing leadership commitment. Research shows it is important for leaders to model positive behaviours in order to encourage all stakeholders to embrace cultural change.1
Before you release any details of the change process it is crucial that all policies and actions must be ready for execution. For example, all documentation and support to roll out flexible work or parental leave should be in place. Once the strategy has been announced, employees and other stakeholders will start to form expectations and your organisation must be ready to begin the execution in key gender equality focus areas. It is also important that plans are in place to manage any backlash that may arise.
The release of the strategy is an important moment and can be accompanied by an event or organisation-wide meeting to highlight that it is a significant initiative which involves staff at all levels.
Things to consider for your communication strategy:
1 Kotter, John P. 1995, Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail, Harvard Business Review, Issue: March-April, pp. 59-67