Is Change Management Crucial to Corporate Relocation?
Relocation in business is an indicator of growing success. Whether you’re moving to a larger space or expanding; it’s a sign that your company is gaining recognition. And, with a steady profit behind you, change like this is the ideal opportunity to invest in the space you want. This time often creates an opportunity to think about the outward presentation of the business, which is why we’re asked so often to help with this stage of a business. It’s a new era in your enterprise, and it could open doors of opportunity if done right.
That’s why it might come as a blow to hear that 90% of corporate change initiatives fail to have the expected impact. Does that mean you should give up all dreams of a corporate relocation? Of course not. But, it does mean that you need to consider every step of the process. We can help.
For the most part, that’s common sense. No business owner rushes into a relocation. Instead, they think about everything from reducing downtime to cutting costs. But, none of that is going to help if you don’t also consider the importance of change management.
What is change management?
Change management broadly refers to the way that you manage any significant change within your company, corporate relocation included. More specifically, though, it refers to the way that you manage the people aspect of your relocation. Things like reducing downtime, while important, count as transition management. By comparison, change management is all about ensuring the people involved feel comfortable and buy-in to the move ahead of time. This is a key aspect to our methodology with the design process.
Why is this important to your corporate relocation?
Employees and their happiness are key to a successful relocation. This is why our clients focus on things such as employee benefits and harnessing a happy workplace. It’s also why we design our offices with the employees close to mind. But, if you don’t embark on change management during your relocation, no amount of ‘design’ in your new office is going to get your company moving in the right direction. Companies report that they find many team members leave because they’re unwilling to relocate and even those who do move may not produce the quality of work which you’ve come to expect from them.
That’s because, when you look at it practically, a lack of change management is like a kick in the teeth for the people who bend over backwards to keep your company afloat. Failure to even consider how a move like this impacts your team sends the message that you don’t value their place or opinion within your company.
The fact is that corporate relocation of any kind involves a loss for members of your staff. It means the loss of a space which they’ve become comfortable working within. In extreme cases, it also means the loss of a location in which they’ve built their homes. That, in turn, can lead to the loss of friends, family, and even neighbourhoods. Change management is effectively about noticing that loss and the stages which follow it, ensuring that your team members can move through it with you, rather than away from you. And, that’s why it’s vital to the success of your corporate relocation.
Implementing change management to ensure your corporate relocation
So, now you know what change management is and why it matters to your relocation. The question now is how do you make room for it during the moving process?
Planning is the first step in change management. When you relocate, it’s crucial that you write up a plan considering the ways your move will impact every one of your stakeholders. That means everyone from your employees to your suppliers or any outside companies you work with. If you’re relocating away from the rest of your team, for example, you need to consider how to design an office which still invites interdepartmental meetings. You also need to think about things like long-distance communications with your suppliers. And, it’s vital that you remember how much people matter to change management during every stage of the planning process. Be sure to communicate your plans as and when you develop them so that any stakeholders are up to date and able to buy-in with suggestions every step of the way.
Letting stakeholders have their say brings us onto our next point, which is to listen to what everyone else has to say about relocation. This is a significant upheaval, especially for members of your team who are coming with you. If they don’t feel that you’re listening to them, then this isn’t going to work. Successful change management is about calling regular meetings and making sure that you know how your team feel about what’s happening. This way, you can design an office with their input, which they’re more likely to want to work in. Equally, listening to your outsourced stakeholders ensures that you’re able to maintain business relationships which work, regardless of the changes necessary to make it happen.
Follow-up after the move
Most vital of all, perhaps, is the acknowledgement that change management doesn’t end once you’re up and running in your new work environment. There are various steps to this process for any stakeholder, and many of them take place after the relocation itself. This is, after all, when the efforts of your change management come into place. It’s the proof in the pudding of whether your relocation plans will work. As such, it’s vital to continue listening and communicating so that you can adapt according to everyone’s needs where necessary. The period after a relocation is also the time when those who moved with you will be settling into their new life. As such, it’s vital that you keep on top of their progress to ensure that they’re happy where they are now.
Admittedly, change management is often the last thing we consider when it comes to corporate relocation. There is, after all, plenty to worry about at times like these. But, if you want to stand any chance at making your move a success, you could say that change management is pretty crucial. Get in touch with us to discuss our process in more detail and how we can make the relocation process as pain-free as possible.