You’ll want to engage everyone you can in the transformation process as early as possible, and with as much explanation as possible. The more clarity you can offer about the change in staff roles and responsibilities, the better. Direct support staffers in particular have a lot of insight to add to the planning and implementation process.
Transparency and candor are critical to successful transformation. While confidence in your vision is important, don’t hesitate to admit what you don’t know or are unsure about. Meet frequently so everyone can be kept up to date as the process unfolds.
You’ll need to create buy-in for the change process, so partnering with a champion can be helpful. This is someone influential who could assist in getting their peers on board. Champions can naturally emerge as participants share success stories about having new experiences in the community, finding a job, or shifting into a new role within the organization.
You’ll be explaining the transformation many times, in many different ways, and doing this with individuals in the workshop is a priority. You can have these conversations one-on-one or through already established parents’ groups to build trusting relationships and provide support in processing the change.
Written communication that clearly explains your agency’s philosophical shift needs to be woven into all of your procedures. This includes staff orientation, staff training, newsletters, email and regular mail correspondence, board reports, and social media.
A campaign is a thoughtfully constructed series of marketing materials. This may include emails to individuals and their families, a revised brochure, refreshed text for your website, etc. In all cases, you’ll frame the message to resonate with a particular audience.
A positively framed campaign can be a unifying effort, and can create a common language across your organization. Instead of “closing the workshop,” for example, you might describe “new business models with new opportunities for learning and living.”
To learn more, see these suggested resources and provider promising practices