There are countless numbers of Workplace articles at this time of year. They outline predictions for the facilities management and Workplace industry for the next year. These articles are full of crystal-ball predictions and clairvoyant forecast of future trends.
 
Some make interesting forecasts that have a reasonable chance of becoming mainstream. Others are little more than the author’s punt on what will transpire and are not much better than pulp fiction.
 
But as we cross over into a new decade it is especially relevant for us to look back over the previous period. We should take stock and use this as a base to move into the future.
 
I want to take a different tack and take a more in-depth look at what has been a seismic change in the Facilities Management industry.
 
The ‘move’ from Facilities Management to Workplace as an industry has been misinterpreted and misunderstood. This, unfortunately, undermines its importance to organisations.
 
 
To convey this complex and sometimes enigmatic discipline I am going to be writing a series of 12 Posts over the next 12 weeks. These posts will outline the Why, What, Where, When, Who and How of Workplace Management.
 
This will be a view of how the traditionally cost focussed Facilities Management has evolved from a non-core discipline to Workplace (with a capital ‘W’) which as a critical enabler of the core business.
 
Workplace is a catalyst to leverage greater employee productivity, and engagement, improved talent attraction and retention as well as delivering a superior employee experience.
 
Workplace is now Executive Management’s number one weapon in their arsenal to effect business and organisational change as well as a competitive advantage.
The series of 12 Posts will highlight the reasons people struggle to achieve results when faced with the opportunity that Workplace offers.
 
We will reveal the typical process solution that works for organisations in a similar situation.
 
We will walk you through the simple steps required to achieve your goals, and how you can achieve your desired results through the application of the WorkplaceFundi Signature Solution.
 
Each post will be self-contained so that you will not need to have read the previous posts to benefit from them.
 
The series will commence somewhat auspiciously on Friday 13th March 2020 with;

#1. 8 Themes on the Evolution of Workplace

Global competition, the war for talent, new technologies and the greater focus on sustainability, among other factors, are having a profound effect on the organisation of the 21st century.
 
We will present eight themes that encompass a holistic approach to the future world of work and the role of Workplace Experience.

#2. What does your Workplace say about your Organisation?

Recent years have seen a growing interest in Workplace, as some of the world’s most influential and successful companies have used this as a tool for competitive advantage.
The overall aim of this article is to raise awareness and understanding of Workplace amongst Executives and to encourage them to think about what Workplace means for their organisation.

#3. Why Workplace is Critical to Organisational Performance

At an organisational level, the idea that Workplace can be a lever for strategic advantage is by no means new. Unfortunately, it’s one that many senior leadership teams still fail to act upon.
 
Workplace as a tool for productivity and competitive advantage has been a concept rather than an operating reality.
 
A recent report by Leesman, based on data from over 2,000 workplaces, concluded: “… that organisations are not getting what they should from their corporate workplaces.”
 
We will answer the question; does the average office facility simply provide a place to work or does it provide a potential competitive advantage for the organisation?

#4. What is Workplace and Why are all Workplaces not Equal?

All workplaces are the same… but different!
 
As indicated by the Google definition, Workplace is more than just the corporate office. It is any place where people work. All work happens somewhere. A railway station, warehouse, hospital, school or stadium is still a Workplace.
 
But it would be a mistake to apply the same strategy and solution as not all Workplaces are equal.
 
What all Workplaces have in common are employees. This article will provide you with the six things that all employees want from their workplace.

#5. Where did Workplace come from and Why Now?

As the late great American poet Maya Angelou said: “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”
 
Since the first Industrial Revolution, the maintenance of assets associated with a means of production has been a critical element of operational costs associated with most business enterprises.
 
Why are we now focussing on ‘Workplace’?
 
All we need to do is look to the West Coast of America. The high-tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo etc are on the front lines of the war for talent. It is in the heat of this battle, that the Workplace has been ‘weaponised’ and is being used to leverage competitive advantage.

#6. The Workplace Experience Revolution.

Employees are consumers of the Workplace and consumer behaviour is changing. We have learned from customer experience research that customers now want more from the brands they love. They want proactivity and quick responses as well as more value exchange throughout the life of the product or service.
 
This article will identify why experience is critically important and the data behind customer experience. We will illustrate how to design and deliver excellence in the customer journey and how this affects employee performance.

#7. How to get Workplace Right,

If you are the CEO of your organisation you are undoubtedly concerned with how your company is measuring up to your competition. But as the owner of the organisational strategy what are you doing about the mounting body of evidence that shows the correlation between the Workplace and your company’s competitive advantage?
 
This article will provide a set of 10 questions that will provide you with the framework to;
  • Understand this complex issue
  • Challenge the Board to unleash the performance of the Workplace
  • Ensure that your workplace is working at maximum effectiveness?
  • Understand what to expect from your workplace team. 

#8. Why WorkplaceFundi?

In this post, I will outline why Workplacefundi is the ‘go-to’ resource for you, your organisation and your workplace.
 
We have developed 3 unique models of Workplace performance. We will show you how these can be used to measure and evaluate your workplace, and its performance and its contribution to organisational objectives.

#9. Navigating Workplacefundi’s Signature Solution.

In a hyper-competitive world, the Workplace is Management’s No 1 tool in their arsenal to effect rapid deployment of change initiatives. Whether this is the organisational culture, changing the way people work or winning the war for talent.
 
The WorkplaceFundi Signature Solution is our unique 3-Phase 9-stage roadmap. That presents our Clients with a clear path to transform their office into a Winning Workplace.
 
WorkplaceFundi’s Signature Solution
 

#10 Signature Solution – Phase 1; Evaluate

Stage 1-Ideas Indaba

Stage Transition: From no ideas to new ideas

Like all serious undertakings, the starting point is a good brief to define an objective led approach to what the Workplace experience is seeking to achieve in tangible organisational terms.
 
Workplacefundi will help you;
    1. Understand how your Workplace can be leveraged to improve your organisations’ competitive advantage;
    2. Understand how your staff view the Workplace and what impact this has on productivity;
    3. How a Workplace strategy integrates with and supports your organisational strategy.

Stage 2-Deep Dive Diagnosis

Stage Transition: From confusion to comprehension

The WorkplaceFundi Deep Dive Diagnosis uses preparatory tools to undertake a thorough audit both on the portfolio and processes. It will identify the level of maturity, current structure, cost drivers, capabilities, service delivery models, existing service contracts, and current performance measures to establish a baseline.
 
There are 3 main reasons people struggle with understanding their existing Workplace and its effect on the business
    1. In most organisations, no one person has overall responsibility for the Workplace;
    2. Organisations performance manage people BUT NOT the workplace. Why is that? As the two most expensive assets in an organisation, this does not make sense;
    3. Accessing credible data on the performance of the workplace and how this can be leveraged to achieve the organisational strategy & support the staff accomplish their outputs. 

Stage 3-Streamlined Strategy

Stage Transition: From intuition to insight

Using the information and data collected in Stage 2- Deep Dive Diagnosis we establish a strategy for the workplace which aligns with commercial objectives. The Streamlined Strategy will ensure senior buy-in to …
    1. Recognise the value of the workplace in the knowledge economy and how this aligns with commercial objectives;
    2. Identify staff requirements of the physical Workspace;
    3. Understand what are the productivity drivers of the workplace;
    4. Interpret the physical attributes that make an effective workplace.

#11 Signature Solution – Phase 2; Engage

Stage 4-Solution Synthesis

Stage Transition: From independent to interdependent

Using the output of #3 Streamlined Strategy and integrating this with the other important Workplace related disciplines HR and IT, we will show you how to engender a holistic ‘one team’ approach to…
    1. Establish a clear shared vision and purpose for the Workplace team, with links to business performance and the workplace experience;
    2. Understand the Elements that go into creating a Workplace experience are not just Physical. They are Cultural and Technology as well;
    3. Integrate the different disciplines of HR, IT, FM, & CRE into a single holistic solution.

Stage 5-Business Blueprint

Stage Transition: From suggestion to a solution

Business Blueprint- is about ensuring that the Workplace acts in conjunction with, but as a coherent extension of, the business strategy and that it aligns with the Workplacefundi 12 E’s of a Winning Workplace.
 
There are 3 main reasons people struggle with generating a value focussed Business case
    1. An overriding focus on cost and space efficiency at the expense of effectiveness and all the other elements that go into making up a Winning Workplace;
    2. Understanding the value to the organisation of a Winning Workplace Experience;
    3. How the workplace strategy links to the organisational strategy and the workplace as an enabler of productivity and competitive advantage.

Stage 6-Service Solution

Stage Transition: From competition to co-collaboration

Service Solution is about the evaluation of the current resources and developing a supplier selection process by preparing selection criteria that each of the options satisfies. Evaluation is conducted of all service options against an appropriate range of requirements such as the 8 C’s.
 
We will show you how to develop an appropriate Workplace service solution by
    1. Developing a strategy that maximises the value of insourcing and outsourcing;
    2. Prepare and understanding the selection criteria that each of the options satisfies;
    3. Enabling an intelligent procurement strategy that requires a balance between.
      • Strategy & Transactional focus
      • Cost & value
      • Service delivery and service management
We can then enact the service solution and empower the Workplace team to act as integrators, not just facilitators and provide them with the digital tools to do so.
 

#12 Signature Solution-Phase 3; Excel

Stage 7-Transition & Transform

Stage Transition: From traditional to transformational

This stage includes a managed change approach to the adoption, preparation, of mobilisation & transition and of all resources, systems, data, authorisations and procedures before taking full responsibility for the transformed services to be delivered
 
Transition is undertaken where the scope of services subject to transition, together with the tasks to be performed, their times, resources and cost, are defined and controlled within a risk-bound environment.
 
In this stage, the services are delivered as agreed and the methodology for optimisation agreed upon is applied.
 
The main reasons people struggle with Transitioning & Transforming the Workplace experience
    1. Limitations of the current team in terms of the 8 C’s;
    2. Project, change and risk management capabilities;
    3. Communication management;
    4. Project execution and Transition management. 

Stage 8-Unleash Performance

Stage Transition: From objectives to opportunities

Unleash Performance is about the creation of the workplace experience and attaining greater productivity as a holy grail that continues to excite but elude most company executives. But where should they start?
 
Unleashing Workplace Performance will show you how you can overcome
    1. Unclear expectations and understanding of desired outcomes;
    2. Poor supplier selections;
    3. Inability to measure and enforce service quality or performance.

Stage 9-Winning Workplace

Stage Transition: From costly to competitive advantage

We will provide you with the capability to be able to manage a High performing Winning Workplace by ensuring
    1. A coherent workplace management Model;
    2. Clear roles and responsibilities for the performance of the Workplace;
    3. Relevant performance metrics or technology in place to measure and report performance;
    4. Agility in changing metrics to meet new needs and expectations.
This is all achieved by investing in the right technology to manage and measure workplace performance.

Conclusion

This series is intended to provide the reader with a comprehensive resource with which to analyse their Workplace and to understand the power of our environment in the workplace to deliver substantial competitive advantage by empowering the core business
Here’s wishing all of you a peaceful, prosperous and productive 2020.