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12 October 2016

HOK’s Robyn Baxter on Workplace Change Management

Baxter RobynRobyn Baxter, a vice president and regional leader of Consulting for HOK’s Canada practice, discusses how change management can help organizations effectively manage the transition from an enclosed environment to an open and connected one.

“‘Change management is about dealing with the behavioral side of physical change,’ Baxter said. ‘The real estate math and savings are easy to determine. We understand it and can make it work, but you have to put the effort in for that to happen.’”

“Having the right players buying into the program from the start is essential. While the team varies on a project to project basis, Robyn notes several common components for successful change management: an engaged executive, a passionate integrator, buy-in throughout the governance structure and a change team.”

“Change management should start as soon as a you decide to move spaces. Talking to employees about the nature of change and being intentional and explicit about the reasons for change help to dispel anxiety and also rumors. It’s easy for people to assume the worst when they lack information.”

“To measure success, Robyn and her team look at metrics such as engagement and perceptions within the workplace. While productivity is hard to measure, it is possible to see how employees perceive their productivity is impacted. Employee attitudes towards certain spaces also serves as an important indicator.”

Baxter will present “The Resilient Workplace – Engagement and the Global Workplace” at the CoreNet Global Summit – Americas in Philadelphia on Oct. 18.

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