digital transformation

8 Steps to Build a Successful Workplace Development plan  

Table of Contents


Workplace transformation involves reconfiguring work environments, procedures, and technologies to provide a positive employee experience. It necessitates recognizing the diverse work styles of employees and adapting physical spaces and technology to accommodate their individual requirements. 

A comprehensive approach to workplace transformation employs a design methodology that prioritizes human needs. It begins by understanding the technological requirements of the workforce, such as how employees engage with operational platforms, collaborate with colleagues, and access information throughout the organization. 

Recent events have led to changes in employee expectations. According to Kameshwari Rao, the global chief people officer at Publicis Sapient, a digital transformation consultancy, the disruptions caused by the pandemic have triggered rapidly evolving trends, including the “great resignation” and “quiet quitting,” indicating that individuals seek different things from their employers at different times. To navigate these shifting circumstances successfully, organizations must possess a deep understanding of their employees and adapt organizational practices to provide maximum value for them during a workplace transformation. 

8 Steps to Build a Successful Workplace Development Plan  


1. Define the future vision of your digital workplace  

According to Anthony Abbatiello, the practice leader of workforce transformation at PwC, executives and employees alike are not keen on reverting to pre-pandemic ways. This gives organizations a unique opportunity to shape the future of their digital workplace. It is crucial to define meaningful work and the necessary skill sets for its execution. Consider the digital workspace that aligns with employees’ expectations of digital experiences. Additionally, create innovative rewards catering to individual preferences, workforce segments, and workplace transformation.   

2. Involve your team in shaping workplace transformation.  

Abbatiello emphasizes adopting a people-centric approach to workplace transformation and workplace development. When people contribute to the creation process, they are more likely to embrace the changes. It is vital to familiarize leaders with new technologies beforehand, enabling them to grasp the bigger picture and understand the significance of workplace transformation for the organization. For example, involving HR leaders in implementing a metaverse can be crucial if virtual worlds are utilized for employee recruitment, onboarding, or training.  

3. Design workplace solutions based on the nature of work itself  

Kilgour suggests that organizations should question the assumption of the workplace as a physical location, as this trend was already emerging before the pandemic. Companies should closely examine the work they aim to accomplish to determine where, when, and how work should be carried out. Developing a deep understanding of the unique requirements and priorities associated with these goals is essential during workplace transformation and workplace development. By focusing on the design and execution of work, organizations can determine the appropriate mix of physical and digital workplace transformation to support their business strategies.  

4. Embrace dynamic performance management.  

Rao argues that prioritizing dynamic performance management, also known as continuous performance management, significantly contributes to maintaining motivation and supporting employees’ growth aspirations during workplace transformation and workplace development. It involves ongoing activities rather than periodic evaluations. For instance, regular one-on-one meetings focusing on career growth and opportunities can be held, while quarterly check-ins help document discussions on performance and potential for workplace transformation and workplace development. An annual review can provide a comprehensive overview of the year and feed into recognition and rewards. Rao emphasizes the importance of creating an enabling work environment that allows individuals to thrive, with monthly promotion cycles being a part of this agile process of workplace development and workplace transformation.   

5. Ensure alignment of leadership on the shared vision.  

Leadership alignment is crucial for successful change. Lister stresses the importance of shared goals among leaders. It is not enough for leaders to express commitment verbally; they must also exemplify it through actions. Leaders should present themselves if they want employees to return to the office. Similarly, if leaders expect employees to give up assigned seats, they should lead by example and do the same during the workplace transformation and workplace development. Building trust requires leaders to reciprocate trust in their employees.  

6. Foster collaboration across departments  

Digital transformation impacts different parts of an organization regarding where, when, and how work is conducted. Lister suggests promoting collaboration among various departments to address the intricacies of the workplace transformation. For instance, HR and IT must work closely together to ensure employees have the necessary resources for productivity and establish robust security measures. Real estate and facilities management should also be involved to accommodate workplace design and space requirements changes. Lister refers to this collaboration between commercial real estate, HR, and IT as the three-legged stool of change. However, it is vital to include other essential participants such as finance, legal, communications, marketing, sustainability, procurement, labour representatives, external consultants, and sometimes customers and vendors.  

7. Realign workplaces, practices, and processes with the new ways of working.  

Due to the rapid shift to remote work during the pandemic, many organizations have not updated their physical workplaces and work processes to reflect the new work dynamics. Lister compares it to having a smartphone but only using it for phone calls. Since remote and hybrid work is becoming permanent, organizations need to adopt new technologies, work practices, meeting strategies, and communication methods to maximize the potential of remote work. These changes can also minimize unintended consequences of effectiveness, productivity, recruitment, retention, and sustainability during the process of workplace transformation and workplace development.  

8. Measure relevant metrics  

With new ways of working come new metrics for evaluating success. Lister emphasizes the importance of measuring the outcomes of change initiatives. For example, if a transformation aims to improve recruitment and retention, metrics could include the following: 

  • The job offer-to-acceptance ratio. 
  • The number of applications per job listing. 
  • Voluntary turnover rates. 

It is crucial to track and analyze data that aligns with the objectives of the workplace transformation to assess its impact and effectiveness. 

The Final Word 

In conclusion, constructing a successful workplace development plan is a strategic process that requires careful consideration and deliberate actions. By understanding the current state of the organization, setting clear objectives, involving stakeholders, identifying development needs, designing effective learning initiatives, providing necessary resources and support, implementing and evaluating the plan, and continuously adapting and evolving, organizations can create a plan for workplace transformation that fosters employee growth, enhances productivity, and cultivates a positive work environment. A well-crafted workplace development and workplace transformation plan contributes to the long-term success of the organization by empowering employees, driving innovation, and aligning with the organization’s strategic goals.