Change in the workplace is becoming more common, frequent and dramatic. More flexibility, technology, organizational structures and generational differences are impacting our work environments. While all of this change may be for the good, there is a level of anxiety surrounding change. At the root of this anxiety is fear; Fear of change.
Heidi Grant Halvorson, Motivational Psychologist says, “It’s not just that people fear change, though they undoubtedly do. It’s also that they genuinely believe (often on an unconscious level) that when you’ve been doing something a particular way for some time, it must be a good way to do things. And the longer you’ve been doing it that way, the better it is.
So change isn’t simply about embracing something unknown — it’s about giving up something old (and therefore good) for something new (and therefore not good).”
With this in mind, your communication strategy should focus on the benefits of the change, and how it’s advantageous over the previous way of doing things.
Halvorson continues, “Change and innovation require we not only convince others that new can be good, but that we address their (often unconscious) assumption that what’s been around longer looks, works and tastes better.”
When undergoing a facility adjustment, having a clear communications plan in place to manage the change – whether a relocation or restack – will be far more successful.
5 Tips for Communicating Workplace Change:
- Clearly communicate the need for change early and often.
- Hold staff focus groups to understand concerns, operational issues and anxieties around the change.
- Determine how the change will personally benefit staff.
- Constantly monitor the plan to determine additional resources or communication required.
- Unite to motivate and communicate the change beginning with executives. C-level support is crucial for positive change.
For more comprehensive information, including Quick Tips, download the Seven Deadly Relocation Pitfalls document.
Helen Dennis is the President and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service business relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.