Simon Taylor, Telereal Trillium's property strategy director, talks about the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement and its importance in not only helping to bring about property change but also the wider benefits it can bring post transformation.
Moving employees out of their familiar routines and spaces during a property change – whether that be a refurbishment, a consolidation or a relocation – can provoke anything from relief to rebellion. Trying to accurately predict how people will react is near on impossible. However, one thing is certain: if you fail to successfully connect with them, your supporters will waver and your detractors will see it as further evidence of flawed thinking.
Getting the basic change communications right is crucial, but, more widely, the process provides a surprisingly rich opportunity to energise your people, re-establish broken links and generally consolidate the business-to-employee relationship.
However, property changes, whatever the scale or scope, come with a certain amount of embedded complexity, and in dealing with this, communications and engagement can often become sidelined. Yet the people at the heart of all of this – those occupying the space – are the most important element in the whole exercise. Talking to them, establishing a dialogue, listening hard to what they say and responding positively to their concerns is a critical-path issue. It’s every bit as important as getting your deliveries and trades on site at the right time.