Any assessment can be a source of trepidation for an organization. Without communicating the purpose of the assessment, the schedule, the roles and responsibilities of individuals during the assessment, the confidentiality of statements and documentation, and what will be done with the results, organizational resistance can create an environment where gleaning accurate information will be nearly impossible. Generally speaking, any assessment should be communicated to the organization well in advance of when people will be required to respond.
Communications also may be repeated a few times to reinforce its importance. It is usually best if senior management details the assessment purpose, scope, context, size, location(s), dates and intended follow-up. This communication also should state a firm commitment to the process, a solicitation for full forthright cooperation and an assurance of confidentiality. This type of communication when reinforced in regularly scheduled meetings and informal communications will help to reduce organizational resistance and assure a free flow of accurate information.
Post-assessment communications also should be scheduled. Sharing information with the people who participated helps develop buy-in for the results and subsequent actions to be taken.