Implementing a different way of working – change management in practice
In this article Andreea Costin shares her experience with implementing a new office concept and a different way of working.
Even if we like it or not, change is part of our life and part of project management.
Implementing a different way of working:
This time we are going to discuss about changes which affect behaviors, feelings, beliefs, as Elisabeth already mentioned: implementing a different way of working.
When you are dealing with such a topic you have to do a very good risk assessment: think about the organizational and national culture, about employees, about the sponsor of the program, and even about the project management team. Once you find out what are the major worries and expectations, take them into consideration for the final layout, because their opinion is important.
Dealing with resistance:
Try to understand what are the reasons behind the resistance (through focus groups, one to one discussions and so on), for example: there are talkative colleagues, their concentration needs, differences between generations (x, y, etc.), leadership and communication styles, working styles: more individually or team work oriented, etc.
In order to be ready for this kind of change both managers and employees need to adapt and to communicate assertively. Therefore in this journey you can have two categories of partners:
Because they will evaluate and coordinate virtual team, they will focus on results and not on the time spend in the office, they will encourage the new way of working and the use of different working areas, they will sustain and promote collaboration, and in the end the new way of working.
Change agents (employees who easily and efficiently communicate):
Because they will tell others about concentrating on results and not on the time spend in the office, about identifying and eliminating stress factors, they will know how to work in the new environment, and how to use the working areas according to their needs.
This way they will help you to implement and to prepare the whole organization for the change.
These competences can be improved through: focus groups, discussions, presentations, but also through trainings which can be done internally or externally.
Communication & involvement
Communicate, as much as possible:
- information about implementation calendar, milestones, benefits, reasons to implement the change,
- give answers to the worries,
- show the layouts in advance,
- visit the new building/facilitation,
- negotiate some aspects that are appropriate to negotiation.
People in general need to be involved in a process in order to live and implement it.
In the end both employees and the client are in the same boat so it is better for them to find a solution together.
And most important: walk the talk!
Best of luck
Andreea Costin is working in a multinational company and she has more than 6 years experience in HR. As a Sociologist she is passionate about Health Management and motivational techniques.