A Focus on Employee Investment

High performance workplaces target investments in place, practices, policies, and culture that lead to higher employee engagement and productivity.

On September 28th, PDR’s Workplace Performance Practice was pleased to host Perspectives 2015: a forum to spark a valuable exchange of ideas about the future of workplace strategy, specifically fostering high Return on People investments.  Workplace strategy leaders from across the nation and from various industries exchanged thoughts, experiences, and research on best practices for creating and maintaining a high Return on People within an organization. Attendees shared the value of connecting with individuals from diverse industries and backgrounds to uncover the similar challenges faced and unique solutions. 

Jill Duncan, PDR's Workplace Performance Lead, guides the forum discussion focused on employee investment.

Jill Duncan, PDR's Workplace Performance Lead, guides the forum discussion focused on employee investment.

PDR would like to say thank you to all the attendees for their participation. Also, a special thank you to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), who gave the keynote address and graciously stayed to share her research with all PDR employees.  

Throughout the day, attendees confirmed the importance of Return on People investments and noted the challenges organizations face in implementing these types of investments.  For example, Ms. Lister presented research documenting the positive impact on profit of higher employee engagement and well-being.  However, the majority of organizations limit their workplace strategies to the physical space, while not addressing the practices and policies that promote engagement and well-being; such as having a common purpose, a sense of belonging, trust or autonomy.

I heard simple, but powerful ideas that I can bring back to my organization and start implementing immediately.
— Lisa Brubaker, Manulife, Global Leadership and Learning

I really enjoyed hearing diverse perspectives, the experience was inspirational.
— David Kalb, Chevron, Architect and Manager of Workplace Strategy

All of the discussion reinforced PDR’s philosophy that all great workplaces start with a great workplace strategy. Regardless of an organization’s size, industry, or current workplace philosophy – the universal challenge is to reframe discussions in order to develop a workplace strategy that is:

  • Tactical: A workplace strategy should be a deliberate plan for the future, not a reaction to the present.  Organizations that want a competitive advantage should plan around the projected needs, desires, and culture of today’s eighth grader.
  • Aligned: A workplace strategy should enhance an organization’s vision and business goals.  Alignment across all business units, human resources, and IT, provides a holistic strategy encompassing policy, practice and place.
  • Actionable: A workplace strategy should be a plan with clear paths to implementation.  Leadership at all levels and across all business units will need to take ownership in the strategy.

As you plan your workplace strategy, contact PDR to help you to reframe your approach to achieving a high Return on People investment.

Participants included: 

Dan Johnson, Accenture, Global Director, Workplace Innovation
David Kalb, Chevron, Architect and Manager of Workplace Strategy
Dawn Longacre, Dell, Global Workplace Strategist
Jamie Kinch, Sonos, Senior Director Global Real Estate & Facilities
Judy Schuler, Retired ExxonMobil Campus Business Advisory Council Executive
Stephanie Verabian, Toyota, Workplace Strategy Manager
Lisa Brubaker, Manulife, Global Leadership and Learning
Steve Monaco, Motorola, Head of Global Real Estate & Workplace
Bethany Davis, Confidential Global Management Consulting Firm
Helene Harding, ConocoPhillips, VP Gulf Coast Business Unit