Reducing Your Footprint while Creating a Rich Culture and Engaged Staff
Over the past 30 years, most organizations have shrunk their real estate footprint in order to decrease their operating costs. They have done that initially by reducing their closed and open office space standards dimensions, increased the ratio of open office space vs closed offices and decreased the number of staff receiving dedicated workspace through implementing telework/hoteling programs.
At the same time that we are witnessing the shrinking of square feet per employee metric we are also seeing a groundswell of new initiatives driven by management desiring a higher level of staff engagement, more innovation through creative collaboration and the creation of a strong organizational culture which will help support the attraction and retention of talent.
According to Jennifer Olson, Principal of KGO, a project management, relocation and change management firm headquartered in Washington, DC, the antidote for these two opposing goals is achieved by creating a culture to support the intended behaviors and required mindsets. That starts with re-training and re-tooling management with new management skills, all aligned with the organizational policies, practices and procedures. This takes place long before a new workspace is designed to support the desired behaviors.
The Team-Based Leadership Model
Management can be trained to operate in a team-based leadership model where teams are assembled based on each individual’s skill sets, personal strengths and experience. In order to achieve the desired goals, it is critical to get the team members on board with the team mission and vision, with a clear understanding of each team members’ unique role, and accept accountability to accomplish their part by specific milestone dates.
HR and Organizational Policies
HR can also play a vital role in supporting this model with professional development initiatives. Clearly stating and promoting organizational policies and values that support the desired behaviors while breaking down organizational silos and having cross-departmental communications channels also helps achieve these desired results.
This contradiction in design is achievable but it takes a new management paradigm combined with policies and space design that will support the new management processes.
Take a look at where your organization’s disconnects are when it comes to desired behaviors and organizational leadership by answering these questions: One a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low and 5 being high)
- My organization’s leadership and management have defined and live the organization’s mission, vision and values. That filters down to empowering each team and its team members in the organization to know their unique role. ______
- My management knows how to manage remote staff while maintaining a strong connection and culture to include both remote and in-office staff. _______
- Our office environment supports creative collaboration and innovation by providing a good mix of collaborative spaces as well as heads-down work space for individual work. _______