Workplace Change Management for a Move Off Campus – Case Study – Harvard University

Workplace change management consulting for a move off campus: A case study on higher education office transformations

How Harvard University embraced workplace change management to successfully move its IT division from their illustrious campus to an off-site location.

Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) supports over 42,000 students, faculty, staff, researchers, and affiliates. Harvard reached out to Stegmeier Consulting Group when they made the business decision to consolidate 800 IT staff spread across 13 locations on Harvard’s campus into a new HQ in the former Polaroid Headquarters Building, in Cambridge.

While the new location was a quick shuttle-ride away from main campus, staff were very resistant to moving away from the perceived sense of “brick and ivy” prestige that comes with working directly on campus. Add in employee concerns about working in a shared-space environment, which necessitated new ways of working, and HUIT was faced with a cultural revolution. Harvard knew they needed outside help and they turned to SCG because of our expertise in workplace change management.

Change management consulting for a relocation, consolidation, & new ways of working

SCG began the engagement by conducting a Discovery & Applications Workshop™, which included exercises to identify, prioritize, and gain consensus on the specific change management activities and events which would best align with the Harvard University culture, design & construction timeline, and budget. SCG also worked with the HUIT team to identify staff concerns and offer ways to mitigate risks throughout the change management process.

Workshop findings revealed that HUIT employees would have difficulty adjusting to an environment where they would have a variety of workspace settings from which they could choose. Most team interaction had been observed in conventional conference rooms. There was little interface in more casual, collaborative areas. Break rooms and coffee areas were not drawing in staff members to linger and hold casual business conversations.

Communication is a critical component of any workplace change initiative

SCG developed a comprehensive communications strategy, implementation plan, and timeline to support HUIT’s workplace transformation. Collaborating with HUIT’s communications group, SCG developed communications content and materials. For all HUIT change management activities, events, and milestones, SCG identified and drafted timely, engaging communications for the targeted audiences.

SCG designed a Leader On-boarding Campaign to accelerate the adoption of workplace change, cascading consistent messaging down through each level of the organization. The campaign included a “Leveraging Local Influencers Guide” to help excite managers about the forthcoming changes. SCG also created a Countdown-to-the-Move Campaign, a repeatable process with actionable tips to prepare each move phase for the final 3 weeks leading up to their relocation.

Workplace change management for moving your administrative staff off campus

Does this sound like something that could help your college or university navigate the waters of a workplace change? Don’t leave your critical off campus move get derailed. Change management support from SCG can ensure your administrative staff or faculty thrive in their new office environment. Take the first step by reaching out to Stegmeier Consulting Group through the form below.