Your company just announced it’s planning to relocate. Questions start rolling in, concerns are raised and rumors develop. Unfortunately, water-cooler gossip can be the quickest form of communication leading up to a major relocation. This can be successfully managed with a robust communications plan.
The ultimate goal of the communications plan should be to effectively communicate all parts of the project at the proper times to ensure a level of comfort among those most impacted by the relocation. The more informed employees are — and the more information they have about the new space — the more accepting and enthusiastic they will be.
An effective communications plan will cover general information about the new facility, construction progress/pictures, what to expect during the project, what is expected of employees and what will be different. Most importantly, it’s important to clearly explain why changes are being made. Because space is so personal to so many people, it is important to get as much buy-in from the staff as possible. Utilizing a communications plan and developing a relocation plan where employees are part of the process tends to give them more of a feeling of control over what is happening.
Most people are resistant to change, but with a properly executed communications plan providing as much information as possible will result in reduced anxiety and stress. Employees are amazingly adaptable and resilient, and will get used to the new space very quickly — especially with a well-designed communications plan.
Matthew Dennis is the COO and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.