Change Management

Change is Good! (Right?)

Relocations are complex, requiring the coordination of dozens – or more – of internal departments and external stakeholders. But one thing that often gets overlooked is communication to staff. Relocation can be exciting for business owners and managers looking to grow the business or upgrade to a more elite neighborhood. But your staff may have mixed feelings about moving to a new location, a new neighborhood, and changing up their daily routine.

If you’re a company that’s looking to relocate, you should have a strategy to help employees transition in a positive way. A proactive change management plan can powerfully impact an organization’s culture, workflow, and employee satisfaction.

Here are four tips for communicating your move details to your staff:

No secrets. All of the details should be shared with your staff as soon as they are locked down. Employees may be concerned about the distance to their daycare, or different traffic patterns they’ll need to navigate. Email the address and neighborhood to your staff as soon as you know it, and make information available on your company intranet. Develop a communications strategy so that employees know exactly what to expect, and when.

Show and tell. If the space is vacant, create a video of the space to share with your staff. Show them the windows and the lighting. Show them the elevator banks – are there more than where you are now? Is there a gym in the building? How about a cafeteria? You can also post posters around the office showcasing the new space, or create a flyer and do a “desk drop” to each employee. Communicate with employees directly about move preparations, new technology implementation, day-of logistics, and follow-up support.

Host a Q&A. You can have a town hall meeting or a more casual breakfast with bagels and coffee, inviting staff to ask questions about the move. “Is there a coffee shop nearby?” “How far of a walk is it to the 1?” “Will we have better wifi there than we do here?” No questions are off limits – your goal is to get people excited about the move and make them feel as comfortable as possible changing their routine. People are creatures of habit… they like to visit the same deli where they know the guy’s name behind the counter. That same person might be thrilled to know there’s an Equinox gym just a block away from the new location.

Make it a party.
Get pizza and have a “Purge Party” where you ask employees to get rid of unnecessary files, outdated inventory or old technology. The day after the move, have a “Welcome Party,” welcoming your staff to their new space with some swag – coffee cups, t-shirts, and catered breakfast.

With communication comes comfort. Communication throughout all phases of the move can minimize disruptions to productivity and ensure that your staff can confidently return to business as usual the day after the move.