Key Factors to Supporting Workplace Change

Support workplace change through effective communication

by Haworth, Inc.

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. Companies that effectively manage change consistently outperform their competitors. Why? Effective change management requires a structured approach, with leaders who embrace the process and proactively engage impacted employees. Well managed workplace changes help individuals make a positive transition, and result in achievement of organizational goals.

The WHY for Change

Communicating and understanding the WHY for change is critically important for implementing successful change management. Leaders can leverage the workplace as an asset to effectively enable an organization’s business strategy by communicating compelling and inspiring key messages that the organization can rally behind. Examples are:

  • “We need to get closer to our customers’ roadmaps.” 
  • “We need to make faster and better decisions about our customer experience and delivery systems.” 
  • “We need to break down the silos across the organization to improve product development.”
  • “We need to align our organizational culture across departments and locations.”

Leveraging the Workplace as Business Performance Enabler

Leveraging the workplace as an asset that aligns the organization’s business goals, desired culture, and processes creates a competitive advantage. While markets are rapidly changing, so too are employee demographics, technologies, and distributed work practices. Designing an adaptable workplace that aligns with organizational culture and business objectives drives business results. This purposeful approach to workplace planning helps document a comprehensive “why” for change.

When planned at project inception, a change communication program, clearly articulating the “why” driving workplace change, drives business results. Workplace changes that skip this upfront planning may be efficient—but not effective.

Without a specific, structured approach, many change efforts fall short of the expected outcomes of influencing change in organizational culture and work processes that enable employee effectiveness; resulting in wasted time, effort, and resources.

Taking a focused approach to leading and guiding change can make the difference between success and marginal results to meet project goals.

(McKinsey & Company)

The Power of Change in the Workplace

As difficult and challenging as changing the workplace may be, change management is the easiest way to support business strategy. The pyramid below demonstrates resilience durability (longer enduring influence of change) and influence of organizational change. The workplace is one of the most impactful ways easiest factor whereby to influence change, but the least durable resilient (transitory influence on change) in impacting change as the physical nature of the workplace needs to align with any evolution of culture, work policy and processes. Communicating change in work processes, policies, and rewards are the second- most impactful consideration in influencing change. Insignificantly  influencing the durability resiliency of workplace change. Addressing this organizational culture change may be challenging, but when enabled by integrating processes and workplace change, as a physical element of change, it may be the most impactful.

Communicating change in work processes, policies, and rewards significantly influences resiliency when associated with workplace change. While a change in organizational culture is the most difficult to make, when aligned and integrated with changes in processes, practices, and workplace, an organization can expect to achieve greater resilience to change—achieving greater impact.


The workplace can be one of the most effective investments a company can make to enhance its organizational culture and employee and facility performance. The workplace can inspire enthusiasm or dread, focus or distraction, collaboration or isolation. An organization’s employees are the engine that fuels revenue and competitive advantage. Changes in the workplace represent an opportunity to drive business results, particularly when workplace design is aligned with business objectives, culture, policies, and processes. When utilizing change management effectively, the workplace can be leveraged as an asset to communicate and reinforce desired business outcomes.

Case Study

EPM Business Group leveraged change management to achieve their business goals.  EPM Business Group, a public services company headquartered in Medellín, Colombia, with locations in Central America, the US, and Europe, provides services that improve the lives of more than 13 million people. EPM wanted 
to leverage the re-design of its iconic 15-story office building as an opportunity to transform its organizational culture—from one of hierarchical decision-making to a culture that fosters continuous improvement and superior customer experience. Recognizing its 4,000 employees as EPM’s greatest asset, the project team delivered a people-centric redesign to better support well-being and performance through spaces that foster collaboration and bring value to business practices.


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