Redesigning workspace means change for the employee. As novelist Arnold Bennett said “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”
Employee Engagement is one way to diminish the discomforts of change in the workplace. While not everyone will want to participate, it is a good practice to ask staff to participate.
Here are some meaningful ways to involve employees in the design process:
Present the project roadmap along with roles and responsibilities so that staff understand what lies ahead for them. Solicit feedback, check for understanding and determine if there are additional ways to increase the staff’s comfort level with the upcoming changes.
It is important to keep staff updated on the project progress through established communication vehicles such as the company intranet, project newsletter, e-mail updates or staff meetings. Also, ask staff to keep the project team informed on major work efforts or deadlines that could impact the project schedule.
Ask front-line staff to provide the functional requirements of their workspace. While management knows the overarching goals of a given work team, staff will know what works and what doesn’t.
Present plans to staff and solicit their feedback. It is far more expedient to make changes before building or purchasing than after installing.
Color matters to most people. It works well for the design team to identify two or three options and ask staff to rate their preferences on palette, finishes, fabrics, furniture, fixtures and equipment. While consensus may prove elusive, you will know if there are extreme reactions to specific colors.
Arrange for “site tours” to the space before staff move in so that they can start to envision the change. A new location translates to schedule changes and new commutes. Smooth the transition by providing information regarding public transportation, gas stations and electric car charging stations as well as local amenities such as day care, restaurants, coffee shops and dry cleaners.
After the move-in, establish a clear process for staff to provide “punch list” items and be sure to provide timely status reports on anticipated completion. Ask staff to indicate if the item is critical to their being able to complete their job so that priorities are at the top of the list.
Finally, schedule a celebration for staff and the project team in the new environment. Take the opportunity to highlight the many ways in which employee engagement improved the outcomes and express appreciation for everyone’s efforts.
Please contact us to discuss additional ways Tangram Interiors will work with your team to enhance employee engagement.