A Message from Our CEO 2020 – Forward Faster Part 2
The world has certainly changed since my last message.
We are forever changed. We now mean it when we ask “How are you doing today?” and we really care about the answer.
The world of work is forever changed. Our current remote work situation and the fact that a disease has caused us all to work in isolation will forever change our office environments.
Smart leaders will be asking themselves, “Why do we have all of this real estate?” and “What do we need to change to recognize that distributed workforces can be productive?” and “How will we keep people safe, healthy and supported when they are in the office?”
One thing for sure, what employees need will matter more than ever as we move past this crisis and move into our new normal. A new normal where the purpose of workplace will shift to the “HQ” of a company’s culture and community – designed for interaction and brand activation.
There will be an incredible rise in space optimization strategies, activity-based working, surge strategies that include co-working, and collaborative technology strategies that support a distributed workforce. Everything will change, every organization will need smart strategies and solutions, and every worker will need a success roadmap.
Now more than ever, CEOs want their organizations to succeed, let’s dive into what employees need.
Employees, the people that make our organizations successful, have pretty simple needs.
- They want the opportunity to do their best work with people they respect and enjoy working with, at a place where they can have an impact.
- They want to be recognized and rewarded for their contribution to their team, their organization, and the world.
What isn’t simple is creating a Total Work Experience that supports those needs and enables the very human pursuits the world needs right now – creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Let’s start with what it takes to do our best work.
For people to do their best work, they need to be at their best. The work environment should aide in enabling employees to be at their best physically and psychologically.
So, how do you achieve the Total Work Experience?
Create a Sense of Belonging
People will feel a sense of belonging when they can see themselves in the experience an organization creates. First, they can actually see people working. This seems obvious, but when you cannot see people in the work environment because they are squirreled away behind tall panels and closed offices, it’s a real turn-off to the top talent most organizations are trying to hire. People need to see themselves in the environment – seeing people like themselves or relatable to themselves in some way. This is also a great way to ensure diversity of thought, experience, background. People need to be able to envision themselves working in the environment and in a variety of ways. People need human energy to thrive. That energy creates a vibe that inspires people to be their best and do their best work. We refer to this as Urban Vibe – a key attribute to creating the Total Work Experience. It’s all about creating a curated human experience, one with a sense of FAMILIARITY, URGENCY, and DENSITY of human energy, one that connects colleagues so they can inspire each other.
Speaking of connecting colleagues – Collegiality is the next key attribute of the Total Work Experience. To truly connect people within an organization, they need visibility to each other – visibility to people they know, but more importantly, visibility to people they don’t know and don’t work with regularly. This connectedness to the collective population within an organization is critical to connecting people to the organization and what it endeavors to achieve. That connection drives engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, performance. Creating a high degree of visual transparency throughout the environment, ample opportunities for collisions, and destination magnet spaces that bring diverse groups of people together all contribute to a collegial work experience.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Total Work Experience is connecting people to the organization’s purpose. People need a visceral connection to an organization’s purpose – and their role in it. To be explicit, this means going deep to activate the organization’s brand and its role in improving the lives of people and the condition of the world. Well beyond letters and logos on the wall, the workplace must tell an organization’s story and create a differentiated Brand Experience. To live an organization’s purpose, employees also need a constant connection to the world they are impacting. The key attribute here is Connection to Nature – literally connecting people to the outside world, visually and physically. The ability to have vista views to the outdoors – to be reminded of our place in the world and the possibilities of our impact. Open vistas open our minds. Closed views close our minds. We are asking people to solve the world’s most wicked problems, to contribute to something bigger than themselves, and to have an impact on Me, We, and the World. Beyond seeing out, it is critical that people have the opportunity to be out in nature to be reminded of our humanness and our connection to the world.
People want the opportunity to be amazing and do amazing things. To have a purpose, to make an impact. They want to be empowered to think, create, and solve real-world problems. Exactly what CEOs want them to do! When these basic needs are met, and the workplace creates a sense of belonging, connectedness, and purpose – your organization will be well-positioned for success.
What it takes – building The Enterprise Triad – delivering Real Value versus simply delivering Real Estate by bringing together the HR, IT, and RE groups (Human Resources, Information Technology, Real Estate) to deliver a Total Work Experience – that shapes the desired culture.
This may now be more important than ever as we return to our office environments with a heightened awareness of the human condition and our need to connect with one another, our organizations, and the world.
Our Workplaces should create a great experience – one that is supportive, helps us be at our best and do our best work so we can reach our full potential. People, Business, and Organizations depend on the workplace to create a great experience, advance performance, and accelerate transformation.
There’s no time to waste, we each have just this one life – a completely blended working living life. So, let’s make the most of it and move Forward Faster.
For our take on making the most of your home office situation, click here.
Lauri Goodman Lampson
President + CEO