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  • Writer's pictureMark Bradshaw

Workplace Strategy Checklist

Knowing where to start when it comes to creating a workplace strategy can be hard, especially with the overwhelming amount of data out there, and then there's the opinion in the media, what the global ‘big name’ companies are doing, the views expressed by your board, your own thoughts and of course what your employees are saying. SO, WHERE DO YOU START? The first thing you need to know is that what works for another business is unlikely to work for yours, there are no successful 'cookie cutter' solutions out there, so we've put together a handy checklist to help navigate your journey ahead.

This sets out a ‘needs led’ approach based on some of our proven methodologies.

There are six key components:

  • Project Objective

  • Communications Plan

  • Employee Engagement

  • Manager Engagement

  • Leadership Engagement

  • Visioning

Project Objectives

  • WHAT IS IT – A short statement that sets out the objective of the project (or this project phase) along with meaningful outcomes i.e. what will be different for the business and its employees?

  • WHY IS IT NEEDED – To make sure everyone is on the same page and understand the purpose of the project and that it can be referred to when checking for alignment of activities.

  • HOW DO YOU DO IT – Set out an initial objective accompanied with a high level project plan (key activities), who should be involved – project team and stakeholders and get agreement from the approving authority.

Communication Plan

  • WHAT IS IT – A series of targeted communications to those impacted by the project explaining what is happening and why, how they might get involved, the project duration and also regular updates.

  • WHY IS IT NEEDED - This builds awareness, manages expectations and creates familiarisation of the journey ahead, lowering rejection.

  • HOW DO YOU DO IT – break down the journey into bite sized chunks; use numerous ways including emails, company internal website or information sharing platform. Physical comms such as posters, desk drops may also be useful. Short videos are also a good way to share messages and are easily accessible.

Employee Engagement

  • WHAT IS IT – A process to understand employee preference across a whole range of metrics, including activities/tasks, locational, working settings, who they need to collaborate with and when, and any technology needs as well as gaining insights on culture and social needs.

  • WHY IS IT NEEDED - It is important to collate, analyze and understand this data as it forms the bedrock of creating an appropriate, flexible workplace design that supports the employees and also allows for opportunities, challenges and risks to be surfaced. It helps to create typical employee ‘personas’ at this stage.

  • HOW DO YOU DO IT – This can be done through interviews, focus workshops, utilization studies, employee surveys etc. Create personas to understand the ‘day in the life’ of teams and you can use our WEX Engagement survey which automates this for you.

Manager Engagement

  • WHAT IS IT – Interviews with team leaders to understand the processes, cross functional interactions and operational requirements of each team.

  • WHY IS IT NEEDED - This is to understand operational impacts, identify any improvement planning required, any misalignment with employee expectations or leaders views. Starts the process of identifying ways of working on a team by team basis. It also engages a section of the business community that can be most fearful of future change.

  • HOW DO YOU DO IT –this is done through interviews with a standard set of questions so that consistent data is collated across the business.

Leadership Engagement

  • WHAT IS IT – A series of high level interviews to understand opportunities, risk, challenges and aspirations of the business leaders.

  • WHY IS IT NEEDED - this is to ensure vision alignment in creating strategic plans, understand any business impacts is to build consensus across the leadership team to the new way of working; it is to articulate a strategy that allows flexibility add department level by reaching a consensus using the engagement data.

  • HOW DO YOU DO IT –this is done through interviews and workshops (including the vision workshop). It brings together the executive and reveals to them the outcomes of the engagement work streams carried out to date.

Vision Workshop

  • WHAT IS IT – A session with the leadership team to agree a definition for the new way of working.

  • WHY IS IT NEEDED - this is to ensure alignment and to build consensus across the leadership team to the new way of working; it is to articulate a framework / strategy that allows flexibility at department level and is aligned with the overall project objectives.

  • HOW DO YOU DO IT – collate the data from the employee engagement process to demonstrate preference by activity, location, collaboration and working hours; collate the data from both the manager and leader individual interviews and summarise the key themes. Set out the data and draw out recommendations for discussion and alignment.

Key Deliverables An Insights Report that includes the forward looking change road map/next steps to deliver the overall workplace strategy vision, the key components of which should include:

  • A workplace strategy, defining the business requirements at a department by department level,

  • A route to develop the workplace design and space consolidation calculations,

  • Identify manager and leadership skills training for managing a dispersed workforce,

  • A process by which team can conclude their team working agreements setting out the how of work including etiquette and behaviours of work,

  • A technology strategy that should identify hardware, software upgrades and new tools,

  • HR process to address contracts, revenues and benefits and policy reviews.

Having concluded this first phase of defining the strategy and secured approval to proceed, the next stage is to gain a proof of concept by implementing a pilot project where the ideas can be experimented with, and any issues ironed out before full implementation.

If you’d like more detail on these first steps, or would value our contribution to help your program run smoothly, do reach out to us.

We can also share more information on ‘next steps’ and of course, final implementation.


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