This is a question asked by a client some while ago. They were in a hurry and were a trifle frustrated that we wanted to spend valuable time running surveys, interviewing people and engaging with their senior leaders.
As far as they were concerned they had the green light from the CEO and had left things a bit late – so simply wanted to get on with it.
It was reassuring to feel that they thought we could simply give them “the answer” based on our many years of experience helping others implement agile working into workplaces. Truth to tell, we probably could have come up with a pretty good stab at what they needed, based on what we knew about them. But that approach is fraught with danger.
To understand why, ask yourself why we gather data to support our workplace strategy? Is it so that we can:
The answer to all of these is demonstrably “Yes”. But there are other, arguably more fundamental reasons why we go through this process, and here they are:
Fundamentally, people are at the heart of this process and the workplace management strategy should be based around human performance. They need to be engaged throughout the whole journey from inception to delivery and beyond. If you want people to change the way they work, you’d better be able to explain what the change is, why they should change, how the new way of working will work and when things will happen. Oh yes, and what you need them to do.
So, don’t think so much “gathering data” – think about “evidence and engagement”. And don’t be tempted to cut corners – remember, it’s all about the people!
Next time we look at the thorny subject of how to “sell” agile working – although the better question is “how can you help people to want to BUY agile working”! Stay tuned, and in the mean time, read more about agile working.
This article is part of a series written by Karen Plum, Director of Research & Development at AWA on implementing agile working.
Karen has spent the last 15 years helping organisations transition to different, more flexible and yes “agile” ways of working. More recently she’s trained many people in the fundamentals of implementing agile working, predominantly those from RE/Property/FM functions who need to up their game, know what to do, avoid the common pitfalls and see the best path to delivery and sustainability. If you would like to benefit from our 2 day, fast track Agile Working Bootcamp, please click here for more details.
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