Ultimately, it comes down to understanding the goals of the organisation and aligning them with your people assets and what they need in order to perform. HR are the custodians of an organisation’s people – a business and mission critical resource. They manage the recruitment process, front negotiations around package and benefits, handle contractual onboarding, ensure compliance with policy, help resolve disputes and provide governance for a wide range of policies and procedures. However, they rarely ‘set’ commercial policy relating to the operation of an organisation – these are typically designed and agreed by the Board and then implemented by functional leads such as the Head of Operations or the Sales / Marketing Director, according to the nature of the policy.
Given its scope, a Workplace Strategy should be owned by your board with each component (e.g., office facilities, tools and systems, policies and procedures etc.) then assigned to line management to implement and govern.
For example, if one objective of your strategy is creation of a more collaborative working environment, then your Facilities Department may be best suited to handle that aspect of your Workplace Strategy. If a key goal is to improve employee productivity, then HR may best placed to roll out necessary changes to working procedures and / or policies. The important thing is to make sure that a Workplace Strategy is developed with input from all stakeholders and that it makes allowances for the difference between the way different functions operate and the things they need in order to do so efficiently.
The active involvement and role of your line managers is key – a ‘strategy’ is a plan with a defined set of objectives – but it does not include detail about how these are achieved in practice. Line managers typically work at the coal face and have to handle operational realities and challenges which arise daily. They should be given a level of discretion regarding how policies are applied in their domain to ensure they can flex the way they and their teams operate in order to deliver against their mandate – in support of your organisation’s objectives.
The Board is the designer and sponsor behind your Workplace Strategy, your functional heads and line managers are your supporting sponsors and your staff are the ultimate targets you want to embrace and enact your strategy!
What is a Workplace Strategy?
Hello and thank you for joining me today. I’m Grant Price from YOHO and I’m here to answer your … ‘Question of Work’. Today’s is from Robert, who asks a fundamental question: “What is a workplace strategy?” Well Robert it’s not that complicated. But it is a new way of looking at work. Deloitte nicely captured the answer ….The change started a while back …. but the pandemic gave it a MAJOR jolt. YOHO’s research uncovered that companies are improving their real estate returns by as much as 50 per cent – by flexing the way they use their office space. And mobile technology now enables access and collaboration anytime – from anywhere.