Once you’ve completed your analysis and selected a clearing provider, it’s time to implement the broad communication component of your change management strategy to define how the decision will be delivered and received by your various teams. Your communication plan should consider all audiences (clients, vendors, sales force, home office, regulators). There are many appropriate ways to communicate, to gather and monitor feedback, questions, concerns and additional risks or issues so that your firm can achieve the best outcome.
Before You Execute the Communication Plan
Your clearing partner will help provide some key milestones and a target clearing conversion date. Prior to the conversion, performing a thorough risk assessment around your people, processes and systems will help you anticipate and put into place plans to mitigate risks that may arise during the conversion. A thoughtful approach to key decisions around products, systems and tools, commissions, fees and other organizational impacts will impact your risk assessment and mitigation tactics. Once you know what decisions will need to be made, prioritize and schedule them, and set expectations for approximate resolutions.
Determine who will communicate which messages, how frequently, and by what methods.
Executing Your Communication Plan
- To help make the transition as smooth as possible and help limit attrition rates you must achieve as much enthusiasm for the change from your employees as possible. Your executive leadership should deliver the first message – Why Change? Explain the business case for the change, and what’s in it for them.
- Provide the next level of leadership with regular updates and progress talking points to keep the information timely and accurate. Zero or limited information will create a vacuum to be filled by the office grapevine, which often leads to chaos, ill-will and decreases confidence.
- Keep folks informed and release key decisions as soon as they are fully-vetted and confirmed. More regular frequent communications should occur the closer you get to the conversion.
- Track conversion metrics and report out. Give credit to those who contributed. Celebrate the accomplishment!