Management in the office space constantly adapts to what is the most effective with the working generation. Gallup found that focusing on positive management is one way to be more effective and have more responsive, driven employees.
To achieve positivity in management during an office relocation, a change management approach should be considered. Many companies currently use models of change that emphasize centralized control, routine behavior, and predictable outcomes. While such models are appropriate in stable environments, they are ill-suited to turbulent environments.
The generational shift to Millennials in the workforce brings a focus on collaboration, resourcefulness, and transparency. And yet, all too often, vision creation and the ensuing communication tend to be a one-way street. Change often arrives as a top-driven mandate that is “cascaded” down as a series of guidelines, directives, and rules.
The solution is to include everyone in the process of change not just the notification of change, particularly when it comes to an office move. By doing this, companies can lead change toward a positive future, rather than merely avoiding a negative one.
Organizations don’t change – people do
One of the biggest changes that an organization faces is moving—and this change in particular can be stressful. Organizations often find the need to relocate or restack in order to meet their needs. These moves require changes to spaces, processes, job roles, organizational structures, or use and types of technology. Corporate initiatives frequently impact how individual people do their work. Processes, job roles, workflows, reporting structures, behaviors, and even their identity within the company can all be influenced.
Change management drives adoption and usage to deliver expected results and outcomes. So, here are some reasons your organization needs change management during a relocation:
- Adoption contribution; ROI
- Equip individuals to adopt change and show their value
- Increase the likelihood of project success; mitigate risk
A change management approach will help you to effectively manage the transition of employees during a relocation to enhance engagement. This ensures an energizing and positive start of the change to the new work environment. It also demonstrates that you have you have the emotional welfare of your employees, your most valuable assets, in mind. This in turn improves employee retention and employee buy-in to the changes.
Avoiding change management road blocks
Early and accurate communication is a key component to managing change. By engaging those impacted by an office relocation, you provide them an opportunity to understand the project, ask questions, raise legitimate concerns, and appreciate why certain decisions were made. It also provides you the opportunity to make adjustments to valid concerns. Showing your ability to listen and accommodate reasonable requests builds trust and promotes a more successful outcome.
Especially during a relocation, employees will be uncertain and resistant to change. The best way to gain employee buy-in is to include your employees in the process:
- Hold planning sessions
- Build a change team
- Assign a Change Ambassador
- Conduct office surveys to get their input
- Establish a change team kick-off meeting and goals
Communicate the expectations during a relocation
Because moving is stressful and time consuming, emotions can run high, and employees need to feel supported. Most importantly, practical and timely communication should be at the heart of the change program. Ease the stress by communicating regularly and planning thoroughly.
Provide ongoing training and education. During a move, let your employees know where they are sitting and how to find their new location and any shared files or supplies they might need. Communicate specific expectations, timelines, and deadlines for any move-related activities. Finally, show them how to use new technology such as new phone systems, computers, and more.
Prepare for the unexpected
Very rarely does a relocation go completely as planned. There will be last-minute changes before, during, and after the relocation. For example, the furniture doesn’t fit right in the office; the computers don’t boot up properly; the phones don’t work properly. Whatever the problem, your professional mover is there to support you. Once the relocation is complete—celebrate. Celebrate the success to reinforce the change and make your employees feel welcome in their new workspace.