Meet Tia Ryan, a Senior Designer at Meyer and certified change management practitioner. In a recent Q&A, Tia discusses how Meyer’s Corporate Studio is using this important discipline to achieve better outcomes for clients on workplace design projects. Read on to learn more about her experience.

What is change management, and how did you become certified?

By definition, change management is the structured process of using a proven set of tools and methodologies to prepare, equip and support individuals in successfully adopting organizational change. Our goal is to help employees and businesses become more productive and profitable as they embrace new workspaces that better serve their needs.

As a designer, I am always thinking about the needs of our clients—what are their goals, and how will people function best in the space? These questions motivated me to pursue my change management certification through Prosci, a global leader in change management training. I completed the intensive, three-day program in February, and I’m looking forward to leveraging this unique skill set to enhance Meyer’s offerings across industries.

How does change management fit into the typical workplace design project?

Change management and workplace design go hand-in-hand. Whether businesses are looking to reduce their office footprint, combine spaces or launch a new corporate headquarters, Meyer can work with clients at all phases of design to ensure that their transition is as seamless as possible. Often, we think about change from a top-down perspective, but change management allows our team to engage with organizations at an individual level to make sure they are prepared to enter their new space. Ideally, this collaboration happens early on and becomes a feature of the project moving forward.

How has the need for change management evolved since the pandemic?

As we all know, the pandemic has fundamentally altered our relationship to work and the traditional office setting. As businesses grapple with how to accommodate hybrid, or even remote, work arrangements, our clients are coming to us with new problems. The office is now about efficiency, culture and collaboration. Our clients are asking, “when do certain groups need to be in the office,” and “what kinds of spaces do people require to function at their best?” My job as a change management practitioner is to think through these pressing questions and to work closely with clients and their internal teams to help craft spaces and solutions that fit their particular needs.

Meyer has a hybrid work schedule. How has this new environment impacted the way you think about change management for your clients?

I think it’s essential to understand the reasons behind an organization’s decision to implement any kind of change. From the beginning, Meyer opened a constructive dialogue and sought employee feedback through surveys. This level of collaboration and transparency is a hallmark of Meyer’s culture, but it also led to early adoption of change. In this new hybrid structure, we have regular town hall meetings and daily touchpoints with individual team members to maintain our connections, regardless of whether we are working in-person or remotely. As a change management practitioner, I know these tools will only strengthen my approach to helping clients navigate change. We are only beginning to launch this new service, and I am so excited to see where it will go.