For businesses, there are many external factors – social media, economic challenges, changing political winds – that impact their evolution and positioning. Organizations respond to these factors in many ways which may include how they define their mission and vision, connect with their customers and prospective customers, position their products and services, or look to shape their values and culture. The ability to positively stay in front of these external factors is directly correlated with their strategy.
You can have an amazingly defined strategy, but without the engagement of your people, that strategy will be a bust. An organizations talent – or their people – is the number one factor impacting an organization’s ability to succeed.
According to a survey by Gallup, only 34% of U.S. employees are actively engaged at work. Gallup also found that companies with higher levels of engagement equated to higher profitability, higher productivity, lower absenteeism and lower turnover. They define an engaged employee as passionate, innovative, energized, enthusiastic and committed. Don’t we all want to employ, work with or be that engaged employee? A highly engaged workforce can mean the difference between a company that out performs its competitors and one that fails to grow or see their overall strategies through to success. With low unemployment rates, now more than ever, recruiting, engaging and retaining top talent is vital to progressing organizational strategies.
As Architects and Interior Designers, we play a significant role in supporting our client’s organizational strategies and more importantly, their people.
What if the design of a workplace environment could mean the difference in elevating your people’s potential?
We define this workplace environment as the Engaged Workplace. This specific workplace can only happen when people, place and technology align, enabling employees to bring their best and whole selves to their work.
Every organization has a unique culture and individual business strategies and they define success in their own way. Through our experience and research, we have identified 5 key drivers to an Engaged Workplace. These five drivers are an ecosystem, from foundational to aspirational, that respond to the uniqueness of an organization and, when correctly applied, can elevate not only the people within that organization, but also the organization’s outcomes.
1. Trust + Empowerment
2. Knowledge Sharing
4. Brand + Identity
5. Safety + Security
This all sounds good, but where do you even begin? The simple answer: by defining a clear Workplace Strategy.
The alignment of an organizations business objectives, defined future success, and their people, place and technology creates the basis for a Workplace Strategy. Culture is the thread that links all these attributes together. Without an understanding of the current culture and potential future desired culture, the overall strategy may not succeed.
When developing a Workplace Strategy, throughout each step in the process, from leadership visioning and workplace observations to team or individual engagement workshops, change management actions should be taken every step of the way. Change management can often be a forgotten step in the process or only applied once a defined change occurs. Our philosophy is to be intentional about change management; weaving it in throughout the process, from the very beginning and seeing it through beyond the change. By doing this, you will gain employee buy-in earlier in your process, therefore increasing a new workplace adoption.
A Workplace Strategy should be unique to your organization. Just because one insurance company’s strategy positions employees with the tools and technology to work in an open, address-free work environment, resulting in wild double-digit success in sales, it does not mean that same strategy will work for the next insurance company. The people and that organization’s culture supported the change – their strategy and the solutions that supported it were all unique to them.
Our mission is to make an impact through architecture and interior design by elevating the potential of employees through an Engaged Workplace. If you are ready to explore the benefits of an engaged workplace that is unique to your organization and take that next step in defining the future success of your organization, then I’d love to talk. Let’s start aiming for that desired future state working together to elevate your people’s potential!
Heather Turner Loth
Workplace Strategy Leader