Space & Move Management

A 5-Step Plan for Reducing Stress During Organizational Change

David Spence
July 9th, 2014

workplace stress due to organizational change

When it comes to moving, FMs have much more information than most other people in the company.

Preparing Staff for Relocation

You know the reasons behind the move. You’re on the front lines, dealing with the cost comparisons, the real estate agent, the lease negotiation, etc.

Most employees, on the other hand, don’t. Depending on where you are in the moving process, they may not even know the company plans to move.

So it’s important to reduce stress, rumors and other issues that pop up because of organizational change.

Below are some tips for putting employees’ minds at ease and reducing stress during organizational change.

Plan your announcement strategy

With large companies, announcing the move in multiple ways is a good plan. Why?

It gives workers several chances to process the information. Once they’ve had time to soak everything in, they can then ask for more information.

For example, the communications department may first publish an announcement on the intranet. This will obviously raise questions on the employees’ part.

Later, each department may hold individual meetings. Here, either you or the department head will talk about the move in greater detail, and workers can discuss their concerns. Which brings us to our next tip:

Pretend you’re an employee

It’s helpful to take yourself out of your position as an FM for a few minutes.

Think to yourself, “If I were an employee, what questions would I have about the move?”

For example, some workers may fear that some people will lose their jobs. Or they may suspect that the move will affect pay raises for the year.

When you first announce the news about moving, try to be prepared for these kinds of questions, and address them right away. Otherwise, rumors may start to sprout. This can damage morale and lower productivity.

Keep them informed

Even if you try to anticipate all their worries, some employees may still have questions about the move. That’s why keeping them informed is key.

Explain what’s positive about the move, but also discuss what will be difficult. How will the office be better? What will stay the same? What will be different? What will the challenges be, and how will the company meet these challenges?

Email them information about the new building so they can learn about the new office.

Send out progress updates as the move is finalized. The more information people have about a move, the better they’ll feel about the change.

Get them involved

Another great way to reduce stress over a move is to ask for your coworkers’ feedback.

What do they want to see in the new office? What needs to be replaced in the current one? What sort of place do they see themselves excelling in?

Not only can this help workers feel more in control of the process, it can also make your own responsibilities a little easier.

With employee input to guide you, choosing furniture, shopping for office equipment and planning the layout won’t be as overwhelming.

Prepare them for what’s ahead

Once the dust settles from the initial announcement, prepare your workers for the move itself. Give them a clear outline of their responsibilities: what they’re expected to pack themselves, vs. what the movers will take, when they’ll be expected to move out and what floor they’ll be occupying.

Managing a move is a big job, and announcing the news is just one small part of it. How smoothly the announcement goes depends on how well you plan your message.

Once you’ve moved past that point, however, and face the actual move, move management software can help. Our software can help you keep track of your people and their assets. It can create experimental floorplans. And it can provide helpful, detailed maps so workers can easily find what they need in the new space. It keeps everything organized, so that you yourself don’t feel too stressed by the move.

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