The client’s perspective
The General Services Administration (GSA) was an organization on the move—literally. GSA was consolidating all its employees from its four Washington, D.C., metropolitan offices into one location. The goal was to save operational costs, encourage increased collaboration, reduce environmental impacts, and break down organizational barriers. And the timing was critical, as GSA was working toward completing the move by the time its leases on the existing office spaces expired.
The move affected approximately 6,000 employees, all of whom had to adopt and adjust to a new, more mobile way of working—one that incorporated sharing common workspaces, hoteling, and teleworking.
As GSA began their consolidation and transformation to a mobile workforce, they realized the challenge was much bigger than the logistics associated with moving—it involved changing an entire culture. GSA’s workforce had developed a routine and were uncomfortable with disrupting it. The concept of shared workspace was new and unfamiliar, and questions of routine and protocol (Where will I hang my jacket? Can I decorate my space?) troubled some employees. Less tech-savvy employees resisted the tools that would now become part of their daily routine. Other employees felt the burden of a new commute downtown while also resisting the idea of teleworking from home.
GSA asked Eagle Hill to help them transform to a model example of the mobile government “workforce of the future.”
A new view
Eagle Hill defined, established, and managed all project planning, change management, and ongoing communications to ensure GSA aligned at every point of impact for every affected workstream. We also established key milestones to keep GSA on the road to success, and identified critical project dependencies that could cause disruption if not kept top of mind.
Eagle Hill worked with GSA to ease employees’ discomfort by building an employee readiness toolkit to help employees learn, embrace, and leverage working in a more mobile, collaborative, technologically-focused environment. The toolkit included web-based training on a breadth of issues, from “Workplace Etiquette in a Hoteling Environment” to “Communicating with your Supervisor in a Mobile Work Environment.” We also created job aids that aligned with different readiness phases, offering employee recommendations, information, and activities for preparing for the move. Topics ranged from a straightforward overview of the new neighborhood to more complex logistics, such as how to reserve office space and troubleshoot common IT problems.
In addition, we developed a Transformations Champions Change Network consisting of approximately 100 employees from GSA’s various organizations that provided two-way communication between GSA leadership and each organization. Eagle Hill helped establish the rules for operating this network, down to the details of how to run more effective and action-oriented meetings. The Champions Network soon became a trusted source of information and support for GSA employees as they moved through the transformation.
Unconventional consulting—and breakthrough results
All of Eagle Hill’s work supported GSA and its employees as they completed their workplace transformation and successfully moved to one consolidated Washington, DC, location. We helped GSA streamline its change management and communications efforts and provided the right tools to equip its employees to deal with their immediate concerns and prepare properly for long-term success.