When it comes to organizational growth and change, it can be both an exciting and a taxing time for employees. Whether it's adding additional people to your staff or moving to a new workspace, it can disrupt routines and heighten sensitivity at a time when many crave stability most.
There are ways to keep employees in the know while helping them transition as your workspace does. Known in academia as "change management," the process of transitioning individuals and organizations from their current state to a future state can be trying.
However, if certain measures are taken before the process begins (or at least in the early phases), change management can reduce uncertainty, and boost employee and organizational morale. In a survey conducted by FacilitiesNet, 57% of respondents indicated that change management makes them [employees] weary. Whether it's potentially losing their office or facing structural changes in their department, it's a critical time for many.
To help maintain employee certainty during uncertain times, here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Be transparent in your messages. While you may not be able to share everything, there are some key things that you should identify in advance that you will want to share. Think about how you'll present your message, and be transparent about it. If you're authentic and empathetic, you'll build trust with your team. If you don't know where your new office will be located, be honest. Set the expectation early of how you'll communicate this information, when you'll do it, and be proactive about it.
2. Ask for feedback. By asking employees about what they want out of their work environment, you encourage them to participate in an open dialogue. This can help strengthen the relationship between organizational leaders and employees, while also taking into account what they desire in an ideal workspace and their fears as well. While it's certainly not possible to please everyone, through these conversations, you may gain insight that could prove to be beneficial for the changes occurring within your organization.
3. Lead by example. Unfortunately, the change management process isn't perfect. It's easy as a leader to lose composure when any organization is undergoing change and things aren't going as well as you'd like. But, if leaders lose their "cool," it can have a domino effect on their teams, negatively impacting morale in a workplace that doesn't need any more stress.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to change management, there are proactive steps that any leader facing uncertainty within their organization can take to help their teams make the best transition possible.
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