Organisational change is essential for innovation and growth, but it can also cause stress and uneasiness among employees and teams. Nobody likes to feel left out of the loop, especially when it comes to decisions that will affect their workplace.
An office refurbishment is a significant change and one that needs to be managed with care. In addition to elements like staying on schedule and managing your budget, you’ll need to consider how the refurbishment will affect your employees before, during and after the project. Effective change management can reduce the risk of internal resistance and keep the project running smoothly, so you can enjoy a fresh workspace and happy staff.
If you’re undertaking an office fitout, it’s a good idea to consider the following elements as part of your workplace strategy.
1. Communicating Clearly
It’s important to be as clear and informative as you can about the changes that will take place during your office refurbishment. Employees should understand the reasons behind the change and how they’ll benefit from the new design. Sharing the general timeline will also help them understand what to expect at each stage of the project, so they can prepare for the change.
It’s best to involve employees as soon as possible, so they have an opportunity to express their ideas and concerns. Try to keep these communication lines open, so employees feel they can provide feedback at any time. This will help them feel supported and valued, while ensuring that any issues are addressed quickly and effectively.
2. Managing Emotional Wellbeing
Everyone handles change differently and learning how to deal with the emotions that people express during an office fitout can be challenging. Some staff may resist the change, others may over-react and others may embrace it with enthusiasm. It’s important to listen, acknowledge and respect these feelings, no matter what they may be.
People often resist change because it pushes them outside their comfort zone or suggests that the current situation isn’t good enough, which they may take personally. Some employees may need more support than others, but it’s important to support all employees during the change, by positioning it as a team effort that everyone will benefit from.
3. Selling the Change
Employees are more likely to react positively and adjust quickly if the change is sold to them in a positive light. You should help them see it as an opportunity to create a more successful, positive and enjoyable workplace environment. It’s not enough to tell employees about the change, you need to sell the change and help them understand the benefits.
The last thing you want to do is to push change on employees and make them feel threatened, which can lead to low morale and productivity. Everyone adjusts to change at different rates, so staying positive and selling the change will encourage those who are more reluctant to come to the party.
4. Developing a Strategy
Developing a workplace strategy is the best way to anticipate the challenges you may face during your office fitout. It covers every aspect of the project and provides you with a plan that you can share with your team, so they can understand, accept and embrace the changes to your workplace.
The sooner you can get employees to embrace your office fitout, the sooner they’ll settle into their new workspace and focus on the tasks at hand. Your employees will work to their full potential and your business will thrive: a win for everyone.