If there’s one lesson that can be gleaned from the Corona Virus pandemic, it’s the importance of our team members.
Despite unprecedented changes to work environments, employees are demonstrating their flexibility and resiliency, whether it’s by working at home or accepting a temporary furlough for the good of the public. Moving forward, managers need to recognize the contributions of their employees through their own actions.
One way they can do so is by increasing their level of transparency. Employees want to know the direction their company is headed and how it will affect them personally. This is especially critical when a company is looking to move offices.
Managers hoping to maintain staff morale and prevent confusion in days and months leading up to an office relocation need to be as transparent as possible and proactive in their planning.
Why you should mindful of employee morale during an office relocation
A lack of transparency during the office moving process inevitably leads to confusion and concern. Employees may begin to contemplate whether they will need to relocate their families or even whether they still have a role with the company.
Panic such as this will lead to a loss in productivity and could result in permanent damage to the company culture. Ultimately, employees need to feel that company management cares about their well being both inside and outside of the office.
While every company will need to approach an office relocation differently based on their history and needs of their workforce, here are a few steps managers can take to keep employees in the loop during an office move.
1. Create a detailed communication plan
Miscommunication between management and employees at a company can doom any office relocation process. Realistically, all staff-wide communication should be carefully planned as soon as the decision is made to change venues.
Managers in the process of crafting a communication plan should consider the following:
- Who will deliver updates at each step of the process? It’s important to have a senior manager make the initial announcement of the move given its magnitude and seriousness.
- What information needs to be conveyed at each step of the process?
- When will management convey information to the staff?
- How will information be delivered? Be sure to consider whether the information is being presented in a way that is clear and concise.
When creating the plan, consider the major questions staff members will have, such as what their responsibility in the move will be as well as how the company came to the decision an office move was necessary.
2. Create outlets for employee feedback
Workers want to know their voice is being heard. If employees feel as though their concerns are not being addressed during an office move, the morale of the staff as a whole will suffer, and the company as a whole will not perform up to its potential.
There are a number of efficient and productive ways to collect employee feedback during an office relocation event. One option is to form a focus group with staff members from different departments. Managers can use these focus groups to gain a general sense of the sentiments of the staff as a whole.
Another option is sending out a comprehensive survey to all employees. These surveys can help management quantify the morale of the staff and identify pain points that need to be addressed in the moment.
3. Engage staff members in the company’s future
The greatest fear for any company is the unknown. As long as questions persist about what the business will look like after an office relocation, employees will remain concerned.
You obviously can’t predict the future. But you can still offer employees some clarity.
Showing staff members what life in the new office will be like can help ease many of the concerns they’re facing. Hang up pictures in your current office of the new venue to help employees get a better feel for their new workplace. Share video tours from the real estate company of the new office to help them imagine themselves spending a workday there.
Overall, seek to put yourself in the shoes of your employees. Try to understand aspects of an office move that have the potential to cause them unease and integrate solutions to these concerns into your moving plan. This employee-centered thinking will not only lead to a smooth office transition process but also set your company up for future success.