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How to involve employees in your future workplace design

14 Jun 2021 -

During 2020 we saw organisations implement rapid changes to ways of working. As we consider what the future workplace should look like, a similar pace of change is required to design working practices fit for the ‘new’ future.  

As lockdown eases and offices reopen, your organisation needs to be making fast decisions about your post-pandemic working arrangements. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Hybrid working policies won’t be suitable for organisations that require staff to be on-site; certain job roles cannot enjoy the same flexibility as others.  

Your organisation’s future workplace approach needs to be fair and transparent. It should take into consideration the views of employees as well as what is feasible for your organisation to offer.  

People Insight’s SPRINT approach provides an agile framework for designing your future workplace in consultation with employees and stakeholders.  

Here, we’ll share the benefits of using SPRINT, and how it could help design your organisation’s future of work in 6 weeks or less.  

Introducing SPRINT – People Insight’s Future of Work methodology

SPRINT has been developed by People Insight’s organisational psychologists to help organisations reflect on the pandemic and create a workplace that is fit for the ‘new’ future.  

SPRINT is based on robust research, an understanding that the future of work will vary by organisation and job role, and the importance of ensuring everyone feels appropriately consulted.  

Organisations need to act quickly to design their future workplace, implement changes and communicate these new ways of working to employees. To enable this, SPRINT is an agile process that takes just 6-weeks.  

By the end, you will have a series of recommendations for new working arrangements tailored to your organisation and employees.  

While the SPRINT approach can vary by organisation, in general we propose the following method:  

People Insight’s SPRINT framework equips your organisation for the future of work.

Phase 1: Understanding your organisation’s goals for a future workplace 

We recognise that every organisation’s solution to the Future of Work will differ. To provide the best fit recommendations for you, the first phase of SPRINT is all about understanding your organisation’s needs.  

It typically consists of:  

  • Kick-off: establishing goals, organisation structure, target culture, challenges and barriers.  
  • Custom project plan: ensure the project runs smoothly and to schedule.
  • Desk-based research: existing value statements, business plans and role types etc. 

During this phase, People Insight’s Consultants will get to know your organisation’s strategic direction and target culture. They may identify additional questions or issues that need to be addressed in the employee listening phase.  

This phase also helps us understand what is feasible for you to offer employees at the end of the process, so employees are not being asked about changes that cannot be facilitated.  

As with any listening activity, it is vital that action is taken as a result. This phase is crucial for bringing your leaders and managers on-board with the SPRINT process and ensuring they are willing to take on our recommendations for change.  

Phase 2: Consulting your employees about future ways of working  

Phase 2 of SPRINT uses a range of listening techniques to pool insights and ideas from all parts of your organisation.  

Combining a year’s worth of pandemic employee survey insights along with the expertise of our organisational psychologists, People Insight have developed a set of themes and questions in line with the PEARLTM engagement framework, to be answered in this phase. We’ll also include questions or issues that emerge from discussions with your stakeholders. 

While the detail of this phase will vary by organisation, it could include:  

  • 121 stakeholder interviews for strategic perspective and buy-in to the redesign process  
  • Focus groups across divisions, teams and role types. 
  • Employee ideation workshops; bottom-up innovation.  
  • Future of Work pulse employee survey 

A mix of qualitative and quantitative data helps identify lessons from recent workplace changes, understand people’s aspirations for their future workplace and highlight the prevalent feelings. Additionally, it provides a wider range of data and analysis than could be achieved from an employee pulse survey alone and invites employees to expand on their preferences and suggest ideas.  

Phase 3: Supporting you to design your best fit future workplace  

In the final phase of the SPRINT process, our Consultants provide a detailed analysis of the findings and evidence. This is shared as a report, and a stakeholder presentation. It includes recommendations and suggestions for working arrangements that reflect the feelings of your people, as well as how to address the specific issues identified by your stakeholders.  

SPRINT is designed to be a quick and agile process, empowering you to implement our recommendations with confidence. As with any change which will impact how people work, it is important to act swiftly to minimise uncertainty. Being transparent about the results of your listening activities, the decisions you will be making in response, and when these changes will happen, will reassure your employees. 

In summary: Why is SPRINT the best solution for your future workplace design?  

  1. It empowers you to make fast decisions: SPRINT is a quick and agile process. It reflects the urgency for organisations to design their post-lockdown working arrangements. On top of that, uncertainty about changes can cause frustration, worry and unease for employees. Consulting them about their feelings and acting swiftly in response helps minimise this.   

2. It equips you with in-depth analysis: Your organisation has some big decisions ahead. SPRINT provides you with evidence and insights so you can design new ways of working, confident that they will be right for your organisation.  

 3. It gives everyone a say: SPRINT consults people across your organisation, so they feel involved and engaged with the change that’s coming. People don’t want to go back to how it was before and may even look elsewhere if their working preferences aren’t met. SPRINT helps you co-create a workplace where your people and your organisation can thrive.

Designing your future workplace? Let us help.  

Contact our friendly team of experts today to get started with your bespoke future of work approach.

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