Change management is a growing workplace trend in 2018 and a crucial part of any business, particularly in these fast-moving times. As companies evolve, they require constant planning, overseeing and supervision, to ensure that targets are met and changes run smoothly. When it comes to the workspace itself, the process of managing change is often largely left to outside contractors – architects, or builders, or project managers. The truth is, this is a mistake,
applying the concept of change management to the immediate work environment can be beneficial in creating a more unified workspace.
When it comes to a simple change management process – wherever it’s to be applied – communication and revision are key. Gathering feedback from changes should also be a priority, especially when the desired outcome is a more unified workspace and strengthened bond between co-workers.
Gavin Turner, Co-author of New Workspace New Culture (Design Council/Gower), says that workspace redesigns must be synchronised with typical change management processes:
- Go for a radical approach – total revolutions are often no more difficult to achieve than partial ones. By overhauling everything, you have the opportunity to spark complete change – this may be particularly useful if you have some big challenges in managing the workplace community.
- Get the chiefs to create the climate – the most senior managers can set the context and publicise successes. It’s important to create and cultivate from the top down, particularly when it comes to inspiring the workforce to be more united.
- Test your models at the periphery, not the centre – small successes can be scaled up, big bang failures are never forgotten. Be careful of not fully realising a plan before it’s put into practice.
- Provide retaining support – formal group retaining sessions should help people alter habits in a new environment. Let the surroundings inform the workplace culture, but allow members of the workforce to influence each other too.
Overall, processes will differ from workplace to workplace, and will also obviously be affected by the scale of redesign: smaller projects may create smaller ripples of change, but it doesn’t mean all the same principles of change management cannot be effectively applied.