By Dennis Jones
Improve productivity. Reduce operating expenses. Comply with new regulatory requirements.
All of these are big business objectives, huge goals that require a lot of people, from different parts of an organization, coming together to move things forward. But it’s not always easy, on many levels, especially as companies are staffed with employees who are located all over the world. And not just remote workers. Even the employees who are nominally headquartered at the main corporate campus are on the road more often than not, whether they’re working from home, visiting satellite offices or going on customer calls.
That’s the dilemma Krempe Inc. faces. A multinational technology firm, with offices and employees all over the world, Krempe will be launching a new product line in six months.
But today, when we meet our characters, the Krempe higher ups have convened a cross-functional cast of characters to discuss something else altogether. Before they launch their new product line, which will require alignment across the entire organization, Krempe needs to tackle a different problem. See, a few months ago, HR put out an in-depth survey to measure employee engagement. The results came in recently, and they were lackluster at best.
Krempe is one of the top businesses in its space. But that space is hyper-competitive, meaning an unmotivated staff could cost the company productivity, revenue and, even a competitive edge. To ward off that possibility, the Krempe executive team wants to kick off a major employee engagement initiative, but it doesn’t know how to start.
It’s 9 a.m.
Time for the first team call
The CFO is the executive sponsor of this new effort, as the Head of People and Recruiting (P&R,) whom he oversees, is spearheading the initiative. They’ve reached out to an HR consulting firm that specializes in turning around sagging employee engagement numbers.
Krempe’s CEO is also in attendance, listening to the firm’s pitch. And she’s invited a special task force, some potential stakeholders from around the company: her executive assistant, a Sales VP, a writer from Comms, a videographer from Marketing, a senior software engineer, an analyst from Ops and an admin from IT.
Looking at the conference room, where our characters have convened, the meeting doesn’t look like much, certainly not the initial brainstorm for a major company initiative. The only people physically assembled in the conference room are the Head of P&R, the consultants and the software engineer. So where’s everyone else?
The CFO is at an investor meeting in New York and taking the call on his cell. The CEO is visiting the company’s newest office in Prague. Her EA is driving in and taking the call in her car. The Sales VP is at the airport, his flight delayed heading out to a prospective customer. The writer is dialing in from home. The videographer is at a photo shoot. The Ops Analyst is visiting a new data center in one of the Asian offices. And the IT admin is offsite.
This is the workplace in 2017. Everyone is mobile, and everyone needs to be connected, especially for major projects. Over the course of this new series, we’ll follow these cast of characters over the course of 24 hours, a day in their highly mobile lives, and a day in their highly mobile workplace. We’ll see how their work lives intersect with their daily lives, and their daily lives with their work lives.