Workplace transformation has not only become common in recent years, it has become an imperative for any company that wants to stay relevant and successful in today’s uncertain times. Today’s economy is volatile, after all, and many organizations have adapted by transforming workplaces, upskilling workforces, restructuring, and redefining their operating models, among other things.

Below, will look at workplace transformation, the trends that are driving it, and how companies can create a people-based workplace transformation program.

Trends driving workplace transformation

Digital innovation. Digital innovation is perhaps the most influential force reshaping the workplace today. It has enabled entirely new modes of working, new types of products, new levels of efficiency, and much more. Innovation has been driving organizational change for some time, but we have yet to see the impact of emerging technologies, such as AI and 5G. In the years ahead, some say, technologies such as AI will have an even greater impact on the workplace than the internet.

Covid-19. COVID-19 had a number of impacts on the workplace, as most of us know it accelerated digital transformation in some areas, by fuelling mass adoption of remote work and cloud migrations. While many of us are returning to the office, the new workplace will be a hybrid one, rather than a fully remote or a fully onsite work model. In other words, many of the changes we have experienced since the start of the pandemic, such as remote working, will be with us permanently.

Changing customer sentiment. A number of factors are influencing customer sentiment, including the two trends mentioned above. Those changes to customer sentiment and behaviour, in turn, fuel other changes that affect business strategies, business models, operating models, and the workplace.

Time. Over time, new generations enter the workplace, geopolitical relationships change, trends come and go, cultures shift, and other changes take place that affect employees, workplaces, and organizations. Trends such as these are converging with the other ones mentioned above to reshape the workplace both now and into the future.

Trends such as these are all affecting the business landscape, the marketplace, and the way companies interact with customers. These shifts are compelling organizations to adopt new business models and new workplace models. Next, we’ll take a look at how companies can implement workplace strategies that meet these challenges.

How to Design a People-Driven Workplace Transformation Plan

There are several strategies for addressing workplace transformation. Since employees are the ones who drive an organization forward, one of the best approaches is to put people at the heart of such transformation efforts.

When designing a people-centric workplace transformation plan, it is useful to focus both on individual employees and on groups.  That is, one priority should be on ensuring that individuals have the skills, tools, and mindsets needed to drive the change forward. It is also necessary to address the organization as a whole in terms of the organization’s culture, values, mission, and so forth.

Here are a few points to focus on when developing an employee-centric workplace transformation program:

Employee training 

Retraining in shores that the workforce has the skills and tools they need to stay productive, agile, and resilient.   While employee training has always been a part of organizations to a certain extent, it is more important than ever to develop a robust program four today’s digital first world.

Organizational culture

Your organization’s culture should reflect the companies values and its vision and mission.  The culture should also be supportive of organizational aims, such as the company’s vision, the operating model, the business processes, and strategy.  For example, to enable agile business processes and a digital transformation agenda, it is useful to cultivate a culture that is customer-centric, data-driven, and open to learning.

 The organization’s vision and mission 

The company’s mission and its vision reflect the values of the organization, the employees, and the customers they are serving. In some cases – for instance, when external conditions change rapidly – it may be necessary to modify the mission and vision in order to ensure that the company is still aligned with the marketplace and its customers.

Organizational change management

Most organizational change management programs are designed around employees.

Popular change management frameworks, such as Kotter’s 8-step change model or the ADKAR framework, emphasize the importance of change at the level of the employee.  These frameworks offer actionable steps not only to provide employees with the skills they need to succeed, but also to motivate them and reduce resistance.

Final thoughts

Workplace transformation programs are driven by a range of forces, from digital disruption to marketplace dynamics. While it is important to implement change at the organizational level, it is just as crucial to drive change at the level of the employee.

The steps covered above can provide a good starting point for a workplace transformation program, but this list is just that – a starting point. For more information on how to design an organizational change plan, get in touch to discuss your particular requirements and explore how best we can be of assistance.


Article Credit: Christopher Smith