Support your employees through workplace change
by Haworth, Inc.
In Key Factors to Supporting Workplace Change, we defined and discussed change management. Managing change in the workplace, like any successful project, requires a systematic process that guides, prepares, and enables individuals to quickly adopt change to achieve desired business results.
No single methodology fits every organization, but there are proven practices, tools, and techniques that can be leveraged based upon prevailing environmental conditions. Our successful model for change includes the hallmarks of engaged strategic leadership: creating a clear vision, conducting good communication regarding the new vision, empowering employees, leading by example and celebrating successes. We refer to this model as the “Six Steps to Guiding Workplace Change.”
There are six steps to understand, communicate, and manage organizational change efforts that we recommend and utilize for our own Haworth projects.
As role models, leaders create a vision of the WHY for change with clear and compelling messages that relate to the organization’s priorities. Guiding change may be the ultimate test of a leader—businesses must reinvent themselves to survive over the long-term. Human nature can cause resistance to fundamental change. Thus, leading change is both absolutely essential and incredibly difficult.
Tips: Identify leaders who will:
Managers can make or break the change when developing the business strategy. Understanding how workplace change supports organizational success can help what may be a lengthy change process. Managers may not realize that transformational change is a process, advancing through stages that build on each other. As ambassadors leading change and people experiencing change, managers oftentimes take more time to adjust. Ensuring managers understand and have the tools to communicate the WHY for change early-on will serve to not only support them, but also their teams.
Early in the process, assemble a coalition of advocates who are empowered to make decisions and lead the workplace change effort. Equip the coalition with time and resources to communicate to and engage with individuals impacted. The coalition should identify obstacles and opportunities and create actions to mitigate challenges.
A communication cadence is equally critical as communicating the WHY for organizational change efforts. A change communication plan should optimize milestones in the overarching real estate plan. Preparing for change takes time. Stay ahead of potential rumors or misguided information. Communicate the benefits for employees in the new workspace. New workplace amenities, beneficial work policies, departmental adjacencies in the design, and many other employee benefits to workplace change are important to communicate.
Provide practical training and guidelines for the new workplace.
Change may require refreshing and retraining. Continuing communication after your move-in is important when establishing new norms and gauging employee adaptation. Conduct a formal post-occupancy survey 90 days after move-in—after employees start adjusting and adopting to new ways of working to plan for future changes and assess employees’ thoughts regarding the new workspace.
ffective Change Management starts by addressing shifts in organizational behaviors, work processes, workplace, and technology to build buy-in and commitment to workplace change. We hope these steps and tips are helpful to you as you seek inspiration and advice on managing change initiatives throughout your organization.
See how Haworth mastered change during their HR Renovation.
• 5 min read
3 experts share their 2021 insights to inspire a successful 2022
• 3 min read
Stories and findings that will help you prepare for a successful 2023
See how a strategic real estate choice creates the perfect environment for students, faculty, and the community