Most organizations that have more than a handful of people need to have a strong communications strategy for both internal and external communications. Whether it is notifications about policy changes, day-to-day procedures, or anything under the sun, employees need to know about important things.
While you may think that there are so many steps to planning in an office move that you do not have time to even consider communications, you really need to take a day or two to create a firm strategy that will keep both employees and your clients aware of the upcoming changes.
Quite importantly, you want to keep your employees directly engaged in the move since they will likely be the most affected by the move.
Key Internal Messages
The key messages should involve the timing, packing, office closures, new office layout, and details about the new location.
- Timeline: Make sure you list all the key steps of the move so everyone knows what to expect and when.
- Packing instructions: Provide staff with instructions on how to pack their offices or cubicles for the move. This should include where to get packing materials, what they are responsible for packing, and deadlines.
- Advanced notice of any office closures: During the move, you may need to close the office to enable the final packing and moving of office equipment and furniture. Make sure your staff is aware of these dates and if and how the business will continue during the move and how this will affect their work schedule and workload.
- New office plan: Staff will want to know early on what the new space will look like and how the offices will be set up. Will they still have their own space or will they now be in a cubicle or open floor plan? Make sure you create a way to inform staff of how their work space might change.
- The new location, parking, and commute options: Provide staff with all the information they need about the new location so that they can prepare transportation to the new space.
Ways to Communicate Objectives to Staff
The way you deliver the message should be decided by the type of message it is. For instance, the timeline could easily be delivered via your company intranet; whereas, office closures may be best presented at a staff meeting to ensure questions can be asked and answered.
- Intranet: For those companies or organizations that have an intranet, this is usually the best platform for most messages. It enables easy updates to files and information that can reach all employees.
- In-person meetings: No matter what the message, staff meetings are a good place to make announcements and allow staff the chance to have a complete discussion. You can also use meeting time to review how information will be communicated so staff knows they will be kept informed.
- Email: While email is easy, it is not always the best way to relay information. You do not want to send out so many emails that people cannot find the information when they need it. If you do use email, make sure you only use it to let people know where they can obtain the information.
- Common folders: If you do not have an intranet, then create a common folder on a network drive that everyone can access.
- Bulletin board: You can use a physical space to post information. People can check it often, and it also provides a place where people can gather and discuss their concerns.