On May 17 2023 / by Nina Fountain

5 step workplace experience kickstart for facility managers and operations teams

1. Make the case for a Workplace Experience approach: Given everything you have on your plate, your time is precious and prioritising Workplace Experience could mean your manager will need to accept tradeoffs. You should aim to secure your manager’s agreement for you to at least investigate what it would take to achieve quick wins with a design thinking approach.

2. Plan your first two stages: Design thinking is iterative and your process might not follow the five stages perfectly linearly, but it will help achieve your goal if you start out with a general plan and timeline for the first two stages. Successful transformations typically deliver 57 percent of value within six months (McKinsey, 20231), so you should aim to demonstrate significant value within that time frame.

a. Empathise - How will you deeply understand your site users? How long will this take?

b. Define - Who will work with you to define your users needs and problems? How much time will you allow?

3. Identify obstacles for the next three stages: It’s unlikely you’ll be able to identify all the obstacles before you start, but it’s worth trying. Companies that take the time to identify the barriers and take action to remove these obstacles before they start are four times more likely to rate their change programs as a success (McKinsey, 2023).

a. Ideate - How much time will you allow for going wide in your idea generating, then selecting options? Which design thinking techniques will you use? Will this happen in workshops? Who would you like to be involved?

b. Prototype - How much time could you give to developing an early, inexpensive, and scaled down version of the option? Will you have budget to draw on?

c. Test - Who will you need to give approval for some of your possible prototypes? How can you and/or your manager prepare them for this possibility?

4. Reduce your obstacles: Follow up on what you have identified by considering:

a. How can we create early wins?

b. Who recognises that the status quo isn’t working? Could HR be a useful point of contact? Who could influence senior workplace decision makers on our behalf?

c. How could we turn fear of the unknown into curiosity, with prompts like ‘What if we could…’ and ‘What if…’?

d. Where does our organisation already have user-centred technology, or customer focused product or service design? How could we link with that existing approach?

e. How will we build design thinking capability so that people understand why the rules of the game have changed?

5. Let’s go! You’re ready. Keep your users front and centre. View the problem through their eyes and you’ll be able to deliver a frictionless, engaging Workplace Experience that keeps people coming back.


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