HSM Advisory CEO and Founder, Professor Lynda Gratton’s new book Redesigning Work: How to Transform Your Organisation and Make Hybrid Work for Everyone will be hitting bookshops in Spring 2022 – but we’re keen to give our newsletter readers a taste of what’s to come.
So, we’re sharing a glimpse of Lynda’s four-step model for redesigning work – one which we at HSM Advisory have already tried and tested with multinational technology firm, Sage, who we worked with to design a performance-led approach to hybrid working that would be a differentiator for them in the talent market. The model focuses on ensuring that work is designed in a way that is fair and future-proofed, whilst also delivering sustainable high performance.
Step 1: Understand
You can’t understand work unless you understand it in its current state. This means drilling down into the experiences employees want from their jobs throughout their careers, the skills, jobs and networks your business needs to stay productive, and the ways in which knowledge is shared. Sage made use of existing data to create a working hypothesis that got them started.
Step 2: Reimagine
Once you understand the component parts of work within your organisation, you can start to reimagine them. What is the office for? What are managers for? What does a typical working day look and feel like? What does support look like for hybrid workers? With Sage, we conducted a series of co-creation and design sessions with employees and leaders to reimagine how their organisation works, and used the insights to create core principles that guided the rest of their process.
Step 3: Model and Test
Once you have reimagined the possibilities, you need to stress test them, ensuring they are future-proofed – both in terms of changing technology and changing skills requirements, and also fair and relevant to your short-, medium- and long-term business needs. Sage did this by creating four working archetypes – Home, Flex, Field and Office – to represent core working patterns. They also experimented with geographical flexibility by allowing employees to try relocating for up to 10 weeks.
Step 4: Act and Create
Start creating and implementing your newly designed ways of working, with co-creation and leadership as vital pillars of your approach. Managers should be engaged and trained to support their teams and employees should be given a voice and a choice at every step. Sage did this by creating a clear narrative for its leaders, giving managers a “playbook” to support their teams and giving employees the opportunity to define what flexible working should look like.