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Five Steps Can Help Win Acceptance for New Workplace Designs


Today's tip comes from Building Operating Management comes from Jodi Williams of HOK Advance Strategies: Five steps can help ensure that major changes in the workplace are accepted by employees.

The first step in a successful change management plan is mobilization, which involves understanding the project and defining the message: what's the vision; what are the metrics for success; who is going to be impacted (and how); when is it happening; why are we doing this.

The second step is developing a strategy and change management program that will work for your specific organization. This involves considering the degree of change involved. What exactly needs to change and what are the barriers that will prevent it? How might you remove short-term barriers? Once the change is implemented, who will be impacted, when, and by how much?

Step three is development of the engagement process. The goal is to build employee ownership in the end state of the project. Engagement can take many forms: for most workplace changes, it will need to include several groups, including senior leadership, user groups, real estate and facilities management, information technology, human resources, and consultants/vendors.

Step four is refinement of the roll-out plan. As change is a continuous process, the program's message and implementation should be revisited and refined as necessary. User feedback and questions during the initial engagement process can result in the need for tweaking or greater detail. The refined strategy generally involves more specific information, such as what to do, where and when.

The final step is to implement, measure and adjust. The best way to judge success is to ask the affected groups through methods such as post-occupancy evaluations, focus groups and blogs. This feedback is crucial for making adjustments in the implementation and for giving people a sense of ownership in the process. Testimonials, particularly from people who initially resisted the change, can be very helpful.

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