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Helping your Staff Move from the Suburbs to Downtown

Are you thinking about making the big move? Taking your company from the quiet suburbs into the bustling city?

From the perspective of a CEO or business owner, a big city office is more attractive to millennials, puts you in the throes of larger and more prominent companies, and often places you closer to your current clients. It’s a great place to be to attract better, younger, and smarter talent with a glitzy downtown location.

But from the perspective of your current employees, a move could mean big changes they aren’t prepared for and a major disruption to the life they’re accustomed to. After all, we’re all creatures of habit and embracing change doesn’t always come naturally.

One large concern looms large, “If you’re trying to attract a different type of worker, you might lose some of your more mature employees,” says Matt Stevenson, a partner and leader of the Workforce Analytics and Strategy Group at the Mercer Consultancy.

To attract new talent while retaining the value that comes with your current employees, here are five helpful tips to consider when making the move from the suburbs to downtown.

1. Transparency

Share the vision. Why is this good for the company, and how are the employees a part of this process? Stay open and honest throughout the process. Additionally, encourage open communication as a team. In the face of these sudden and potentially nerve-wracking changes for staff, make sure they have plenty of time to process them and opportunities to voice their concerns.

2. Be Honest & Open About Parking

A move to the city often means having the parking discussion. While parking in the suburbs is typically a non-issue, downtown parking could totally break you. Again, be honest. Utilize resources from the commercial real estate firm that is brokering your move. Often, they will have specific packets relating to parking including what’s nearby, how much it will cost per month, and other transit options.

3. Offer Flexibility

Be open to flexibility in your culture. A move is a big change for employees and if offering flex days or the ability to work remotely at times will help ease that transition, so don’t be afraid to offer it up. Your workforce is changing, and this kind of perk can make a huge difference to employee attitudes and general satisfaction.

4. Give a Sense of Progress

Moves don’t often happen overnight. As plans formulate, keep your staff in the loop. Take them to see the space before renovation and involve them in layout preparations if appropriate. Let them be a part of the transition. By giving them some ownership, you can lessen tensions that might otherwise crop up.

5. Listen to and Address Concerns

Be open-minded. Ask your staff what they are worried, excited, or nervous about, and don’t expect yourself to have all the answers. Give the time to voice concerns in an ongoing capacity and follow up with them. Even if you can’t change something, do your best to communicate why and consider finding an alternative that is mutually beneficial.

The top down, “I’m the boss and what I say goes” model is no longer effective. Come to think of it, was it ever? Embrace your employees and help them feel a part of the fold. Ultimately, they are their because they are excited about the work you do and want to be a part of your culture.

If the process is well thought out and employees are properly engaged, moving can be an incredible opportunity to reignite company culture and get everyone on the same page moving forward to exciting new growth.

Interested in moving to a big city? Read on to see why Cleveland might be the right fit for you!

The Value in Moving Your Business to Downtown Cleveland

Cleveland’s Regional Focus Offers Businesses a Leg Up

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