Change is the only constant in life. As much as we accept that this is true, it can still be difficult to adapt to changes that have a substantial impact on our routines and daily tasks in our personal and professional lives. A significant alteration, such as an office redesign, affects how employees conduct their work and interact with the space. As a result, you must have a change management strategy in place to ease this transition and better prepare your staff. Getting people on board and passionate about their new office space can make the difference between success and failure. Therefore, it is critical to have a planned and specialized change management strategy that can act as a user manual that aligns people with the new workplace.
Read on to learn what change management is, how it can help during an office move or renovation and best practices for a smooth transition.
What is Change Management?
Change management addresses the people component of change by helping employees embrace adjustments in the workplace. Staff support is essential during significant changes, such as a new office build-out, as there is a higher risk of employee dissatisfaction and uncertainty, which results in high turnover. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change, and helping people to adapt to new ways of working. Moreover, a structured approach to change management assists firms in mitigating disruption, lowering costs, minimizing adoption time, strengthening leadership abilities, and increasing morale.
Change Management during an office renovation?
When an organization embarks on a journey of change, it is critical to align employees’ expectations and adequately prepare them. Prosci states that “for changes to be successful, we must prepare, equip and support individuals moving through changes so that they successfully adopt the changes. Without adoption, changes will not be successful, and we will not deliver the desired outcomes.” When an office undergoes renovation, build-out or refurbishment, there is a disruption to the workflow. This disturbance in the working environment means that individuals will have to execute their responsibilities differently, therefore having a plan in place is critical. It is your responsibility as a company to ensure your staff is best prepared to thrive in this unfamiliar setting.
Appointing a leader to actively guide employees through change
The most critical consideration to success is a positive leader who actively guides staff through change and takes part visibly throughout the change lifecycle. If the adjustment in your organization is minimal, you can delegate change management to an internal employee. However, if there is a substantial change or you notice that your staff is reluctant, hiring outside personnel to take on the responsibility can be beneficial. Change management experts can help businesses navigate this process to ensure a successful and effective transition. Working with a consultant can make the transition easier for all teams and individuals involved by simplifying the redirection of resources, managing team expectations, and supplying guidance.
Having an intentional and defined approach
From the start, it is critical to have a strategy that gradually introduces change and does not just rely on employees to adapt to change at the very end of the process. A structured approach to change management is more successful as it allows employees to be more prepared. Beginning change management at the very start by engaging in conversations with employees can set you up for success. There must be a defined approach from beginning to end so that employees understand why the change is happening and remain engaged in the organization during the disruptive change.
Frequent and open communication
An open channel of communication is essential for successfully managing change. Regular contact with all involved parties will reduce the likelihood of an office redesign going wrong. Having an open line of frequent communication ensures that people’s concerns are brought up and discussed, so that everyone is involved. Furthermore, it is fundamental to discuss subjects such as why the change is taking place, expectations, long-term plan perspectives, how the change will affect personnel, and critical business drivers.
Dedicated resources and funding
Your project needs dedicated resources and funding to get change management work done. If an internal individual or team oversees change management and there are not enough devoted resources, reaping the full benefits can be difficult. Bringing staff on board and making them feel acknowledged and supported needs adequate resources or initiatives can fall short. To realize the rewards of change management, someone must be in charge of it and have access to proper resources.
Whatever form of change management takes, the final goal is to help and guide individuals through changes so that employees are pleased and satisfied with the outcome. If your staff are unwilling or apprehensive to use the new workspace, the remodel or build-out is essentially pointless. That is why change management is critical. There are several ways to ensure that change management is done effectively. Appointing someone to actively guide staff through change, establishing a defined approach, keeping an open line of frequent communication, and allocating dedicated resources are all best practices that ensure changes are implemented skillfully and successfully.
At Aura, we can work alongside you to help build an effective change management plan on whatever scale you need to ensure your team is ready to transition into your new space.