When businesses move offices there are plenty of reasons from senior level to why the business is moving, from experience we know HR is not always involved in the process. Here we are going to outline key reasons why HR should be involved in the moving process to ensure the people in the business are engaged throughout and feel inclusive for a smooth office removal.
Business leaders understandably can be consumed in the legal and fiscal situation of the office relocation and miss out on what is important in the business, their people! It can often be the case where people in the business feel they have not been fully engaged or included leading up to the move, this can leave them feeling unappreciated and low in morale. Engaging with internal or external HR teams and resources earlier on in the process will significantly reduce the chances of this happening, it is a vital part of the planning and success of the office move.
We recommend HR be involved in the office removal planning from the board level. If you do not have an HR team or someone responsible for the people in the business, we recommend engaging with an external resource to fill this gap. One of the services Undiscovered Workplace provide is workshops with your people which cover all aspects of the business relocation, this feedback is then shared with senior management meetings for discussion and action.
Below are five reasons why engaging with your HR team will deliver a better outcome for your office move.
The HR team will be able to communicate with the wider people in the business to inform them about the office move, the reasons why and to ask for their feedback and manage any concerns the people have. This can be fed back to the senior team and plans put in place for resolution within the correct procedures. HR is usually better equipped at having a difficult conversation if required.
when moving offices there can be contractual issues in terms of location and travel costs. The main issue is the amount of notice you give your people about the move. Are you giving your people enough time to plan the move? If an employee does not want to move, their position may become redundant, and conversations will need to be addressed around this.
Office relocation or office removals should be an exciting time for the business and the people. It is an opportunity to affect positive change management, improvement in business performance, and increased morale & motivation. For some people change can be unsettling and this can certainly be the case with business relocation where some people might feel resistant to change. An office move will require businesses to fully utilise their change management skills. The key here is to anticipate the issues before they are raised by seeking expert advice from move management or a business relocation company, as well as encourage open dialogue well in advance of any office move. Communicating to your people with a clear message behind the reasons for the move (and the benefits it will bring) will help get your people on board with what you are wanting to achieve and uncover any concerns the people may have.
Remember, even though your business in the background is planning to relocate offices, at the same time, your company must continue to run its operations and focus on its existing workload and commitments. You want to ensure that distractions are kept to a minimum and any “negative vibes” surrounding your office move are dealt with.
Moving business can present many opportunities for your existing people in the business and to recruit new talent into the business. This planning needs to be aligned with the moving process. It could be a motivational booster for people who are promoted internally, and it can be positive for the wider community if you are hiring locally. Talking to new recruits before employment about the change which is currently happening in the business is vital to ensure transparency and inclusion, especially if you are moving locations.
It is usually the HR team who is responsible for keeping everyone in good spirits and maintaining morale during an office removal. The move may feel traumatic for some people in the business, who are leaving an environment they liked and felt comfortable in. People often fear change and what it means for their own future with the company. HR has a key role in addition to taking care of the details of the move, to remove staff fears and encourage a positive attitude about the new office move. An innovative idea is to hold a “moving party” or a simple lunch with your team and explain why you are moving and what plans you have for the future of the company and how this can enhance them. You can show the design plans for the new offices if you have them at this stage. This reassures your people, enabling them to feel valued.
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