Relocating to a new office can be exciting, yet anxiety-inducing.
The upcoming office move may cause a significant change in your staff’s routine. Moving to a new space also can impact your staff’s morale, so you must handle the process with care. Be prepared to address some staff members’ anxiety or unwillingness to move. Remember: your goal is to move quickly and efficiently while ensuring that your staff feels confident about the relocation.
Here are five tips on communicating with your staff.
1. Notify your employees as early as possible
Few people love change, so communicating with your staff about the upcoming move as soon as the details are finalized will give them enough time to prepare and begin the packing process.
A notice period of two to six months before the move is reasonable. Timely, clear, and direct communication to your employees will keep them from finding out from another source. Inform them of any possible implications, such as a staff reorganization. Communicate using various methods, including one-on-one meetings, team briefings, and e-mail to ensure no one misses the notification.
Informing your employees as early as possible gives them a chance to ask questions and learn about the new office.
2. Be honest and emphatic when communicating with your staff
It’s important to be honest and open about the reasons changes are being made. Your employees will appreciate your transparency and accept the situation more quickly.
Moving a business to a new office is a big decision, and having an open dialogue with your staff can go a long way in keeping people happy. Encourage questions or feedback – it could result in employees providing some advice to provide. Important questions that may come to employee’s minds: How are seating arrangements determined? How am I going to get all my packing done?
Giving your team an open forum where they can speak freely – and with the choice of anonymity – will help you understand and quickly tackle their concerns.
3. Involve your team
Employees will want to know if they need to help in the moving process. Some will appreciate being involved because it makes them feel more valued. Giving them the opportunity to feel like they are a part of the process will help foster acceptance.
It’s essential to show employees that their input is valued, whether it’s taking suggestions for the new office floor plan or voting on an interior wall color. Just asking their opinions on such matters will be much appreciated.
Consider forming a committee on move planning that is made up of employees who are interested in or well-suited to helping out. This group will serve a valuable role by making the decisions when it comes to selecting interior design details, hiring vendors, etc. This team can also give you insight into what other employees might be thinking.
4. Keep your team updated and enthusiastic
Employees can become upset or even lose trust if they feel as though they are not being adequately informed about the relocation process. Nobody wants to be kept out of the loop, and communicating with your staff can go a long way. Approaches can range from regular “move update” emails to hanging signs so all staff remains informed.
House all the updates and announcements, including FAQs, in one place, so employees can review them on their own time. Increase the frequency of your communications the closer you get to the move date, and remind staff of important deadlines.
5. Celebrate the move
Once you successfully complete your office move, it’s time to celebrate. Host a welcome party, and give your staff the opportunity to explore the new space, rewarding their hard work. A party gives your business an excellent networking opportunity to invite clients and new business prospects to your new space.
If your business is moving to an entirely new neighborhood, make sure you pass along key information such as nearby restaurants and a map of the area to your employees. They will appreciate getting to know their surroundings right from the start.
Once you get moved in, communicate with your staff to see how they’re settling in. Address any issues that may arise, whether it relates to the new seating arrangement or individual workstations.
Making the move to a new office is a significant experience. When executed properly you maintain good morale among your employees, which keeps the process quick and efficient.
Keeping good, clear communication between you and your employees is key because they are a critical part of the moving process. Notify your employees of the plan as soon as possible, be honest and emphatic, get them involved, and keep them updated and their morale strong.
Address issues employees have throughout the process. Increased anxiety and unwillingness about the move can derail your relocation. Because your employees are your greatest asset, effectively engage them from the start.