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Communication Is Essential to Change Management

Facility management, change, resistance to change, communication

Today's tip has to do with the importance of communication in change management.

For facility executives who are deeply involved in planning a major change — whether it is a new workplace design or a new department organization structure — the reasons for the change become very familiar over time. The reasons may even come to seem so obvious that no one should be able to miss them. It’s easy to forget that those who will be affected by change won't immediately understand the reasons for the change. That’s why intensive communication is an essential part of change management.

Employees should be told why the change is taking place, what the change will mean for them, when the change will be happening, how the change will be carried out, what support will be available to employees to help them adjust to the change, and what will be expected of employees as a result of the change.

It's not enough to send out an email addressing those points. Communication should be regular and should continue over an extended period of time. It should come for multiple parties, including employees who understand the benefits of the planned change or who have adapted to the change once it has been implemented. Multiple channels of communication should also be considered.

An important part of communication is listening and responding to concerns and suggestions. Doing that will speed employee buy-in of the planned change.

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