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How To Manage Change In The Workplace Effectively controlling workplace change is important for any startup's success.

By Owais Dilawer

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Effectively controlling workplace change is important for any startup's success. Organizations are changing because the type of work as well as the responsibility of the organization in business policy is changing. Businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, are rescheduling and rearranging their workplaces to standardize them according to the work processes at hand.

Regardless of the size of the enterprise or the extent of the project, the success of change management is linked with addressing the apprehensions, concerns and anticipations of the individuals involved. Organizations are applying a broad range of changes to their workspace, starting from a simple modification to open planning and lesser scope at a particular location, to intricate enterprise-wide plans that present new forms of workspaces. These include:

I. THE HUNT FOR TALENT The growing reliance on a cadre of main staff members with complex expertise in problem solving in addition to other advanced activities

II. TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT The ability for workers to work almost anywhere, inside and outside the workplace

III. INNOVATION The need for businesses to innovate to stay competitive

IV. DISTRIBUTED WORKLOAD The advancement toward less centralized organizational structures and work practices

V. SUSTAINABILITY The need to lessen the business's carbon footprint to reduce energy expenses as well as to meet the requirements set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Related: The Winning Formula: Creating The Kind Of Company People Love Working For



Cultural aspects have a much more significant effect than the technical aspects of a particular solution. Utilizing these experiences when executing a new program or idea can be of real help. Majority of organizations misjudge their need for internal resources for extensive change efforts. Usually, the rollout stage has been decisive due to the expense of external resources and the lesser possibility that results will persist without shifting vital change skills to the client.


Every organization should develop its unique approach for managing change. The "one-size fits all" approach is not practical any more. This can be a complicated process, but inevitably the approach will fit the culture, showing the organization's particular requirements, and a standard policy can give you a place to begin.


Measurable results are extremely important for every successful change project, particularly in organizations that are already identified for never arriving at the execution stage. Even more important, these results should be persistent and replicable.



The initial phase of the change management process is to recognize the message that individuals, influenced by the change, would like to hear. These take into account the important business motives for workplace change, such as reduction in expenditure, support for mutually cooperated effort, or fresh investment in technology. These should be summarized in understandable language so they can be conversed constantly, via different media, during the change management practice.

During the start, procure the assistance of a senior manager as a long-term project supporter. Find the people from within the organization who have the most influence on public opinion and make them project campaigners. Employee supporters can expand the message. Talk to them personally, clarify what you are attempting to accomplish and request their assistance.


The second phase is to utilize different approaches to know the attitudes and willingness of workers towards change. Have meetings and discussions with representative of different working groups to help get individuals invested in the plan.

Carry out a survey of all employees influenced by the changes to identify the level of readiness that will be necessary. These key steps will offer insights into how you might modify communication approaches in accordance with particular groups. Apply the information you obtain to improve your "messages."


The third phase involves conveying to employees the business motives for change, the advantages and the required time span. Develop an overall communication plan to be rolled out in parallel with phases in the project. Communication channels should be kept open throughout the life of the project. Utilize various communications media and modify the media to owners as well as different stakeholders.


Every bit of the communication on change to this point has to be reinforced by activities that transform the actual move into a helpful experience. As individuals enter new workspaces, there should be people to help them with queries and resolve urgent issues or unexpected problems needing follow-up.

Instant resolution of these issues will go a long way towards developing workers' support, in addition to their ability to be productive right away. Guide managers to assist workforce in making the best use of the new space. Support management to form fresh working behaviors by utilizing new space types themselves in the regular course of business. Share principles on the right attitudes and other aspects of workplace decorum.

Related: Why You And Your Boss Need To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence


A short while after the process of change is completed, gather information from workers about their contentment level with the new workspace and experience. These insights can be of immense assistance knowing the comfort level of employees with the change. This information should be shared with executives and management of the company.


Workplace change will be acknowledged in a differing, usually impulsive manner. A number of individuals will be made more uncomfortable as compared to others and some may think that they have suffered bigger loss. Pay attention throughout the process to every employee; intervene when you can and directly deal with the issues. At times, only knowing that they are being heard can be of great assistance to employees in accepting change.


Create an understandable and consistent message regarding your workplace change according to what is in it for the business as well as for workers. Identify your audience and modify communication approach and media to targeted departments or jobs.

For instance, creating the message that explains better mutual prospects in the open plan for those leaving private offices; and concentrate on better selection of work location for those moving from personal workplaces to shared workspaces. Plan activities such as meetings and question/answer sessions about important project milestones.

Organizational change is aimed at removing the gap between pilots and complete execution. Making use of internal expertise to do this, the plan merges two objectives: creating a core workforce of change leaders and replicating the results from the testing stage.

This stress on measurable results is among the main plus points of the change management. Concentrating on developing internal expertise for execution, the plan ascertains that businesses understand the complete gains of their change management program, shifting skills from individuals within the organization who have been there previously to individuals who have not.

Related: Promoting (Innovative) Critical Thinking In The MENA Workplace

Owais Dilawer

Managing Partner, Spear Alliance Consulting

Owais Dilawer is a Managing Partner at Spear Alliance Consulting. He has more than 10 years of experience in consulting across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Europe. He has strong experience in startups, corporate strategy and process optimization, business/financial analysis as well as due diligence. He is also the investor and founder of three startups that are operating in the Middle East Region.
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