Understanding – and being able to manage – the impacts of change are fundamental in the ever shifting corporate environment we work in. Never has this been demonstrated more acutely than the advent of a company relocation or accommodation re-organisation.
The drivers for this transformation can be numerous and may include: centralisation of disparate divisions to a central HQ, perhaps precipitated by a merger or acquisition; the reduction of overheads by moving into more cost effective real estate or the reorganisation of existing accommodation; or simply the wish to provide a key location aligned with a new strategic direction. Whatever the drivers, the changes can raise a number of opportunities not to be overlooked.
These can include:
- The provision of a workplace strategy more conducive to collaborative working;
- The opportunity to introduce branding consistent with an organisation’s aspirations;
- The raising of an organisation’s profile amongst its marketplace and peers
While delivering a range of benefits, any of these approaches can potentially result in unwanted impacts of change which might undermine the success of the move. At its most extreme this can reduce morale and hence productivity. The changing of an individual’s working environment can be a very emotive subject and the management of the behavioural change required, cannot, therefore, be underestimated.
Critical Success Factors
In my experience of delivering major corporate moves, there are four main areas to be considered in the approach to a positive outcome, namely:
- Strong Leadership – any initiative of this complexity needs a sponsor with enough seniority and credibility to promote the vision of the changes, while being prepared to support its delivery against the inevitable challenges.
- Consistent Communication – this should be underpinned by a comprehensive communications strategy linking the stakeholder audience to the key messages, the frequency of distribution and the channels to be used.
- Employee Engagement – involving employees in shaping their future workplace is fundamental to the success of the changes and a number of tried and test change management tools and techniques are available to help in this task.
- Governance Framework – to facilitate the timely provision of guidance and key decisions a senior management steering group should be set up to oversee the transformation.
In summary, what may seem a fairly formulaic change – often left to the BAU Facilities Management team – with little opportunity for risks and the delivery of tangible benefits, can be transformed to a major step change along the organisation’s path to success by:
- Keeping all impacted stakeholders informed of proposed changes and gaining feedback
- Engaging and involving your employees in the realisation of the vision
- Ensuring that you have the visible support of senior sponsors with a governance framework
Robina Sutch is an experienced Transformation Director and Change Coach, with a special interest in the impact and management of Change on corporate moves and reorganisations. She is the founder of Transission Consulting www.transission.co.uk created to be your change partner when “Transformation is your Mission”. She would love to have a conversation with you about your challenges and how Transission Consulting might help. Contact Robina on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07930 331895