Align your Freight and Logistics stakeholders with workplace strategy
Freight and Logistics is currently going through a period of extensive change and growth. Pandemic-induced online spending is up. In fact, there was a 57 per cent increase in online shopping in 2020 compared to 2019. Customer expectations are high, individuals and businesses want things delivered yesterday and at the lowest possible cost.
For all of these reasons, technology, data analytics and automation, robotics and AI are making their way from ‘nice-to-have’ to essential. And new entrants to the market are shaking things up with shiny new business models, leveraging digital technology or ‘sharing’ models (think: Uber but for F&L).
It’s clear the pressure is on to be more agile, more productive and efficient and provide exceptional customer service. So, Freight and Logistics leaders are asking themselves, how can they step up to the plate in this new environment?
We've previously written about how the Freight and Logistics industry can leverage workplace strategy and design for business benefit, especially when it comes to talent attraction and retention, and fulfilling customer expectations.
With such change and disruption driving the industry forward, workplace strategy is becoming an essential strategic lever that forward-thinking CEOs are pulling to help align stakeholders around the needs and goals of the business.
Why is alignment so important when it comes to Workplace Strategy?
When it comes to workplace strategy, alignment between stakeholders, between your business strategy and your people, and between your company goals and your real estate strategy are all essential. Here’s what you’ll get when everything is aligned:
- A stronger focus on workplace initiatives that create value and meet organisational objectives
- Faster and more unified decision making, clarity on strategic goals and what will meet them
- Increased employee engagement and autonomy. An employee's ability to self-direct hinges on how well they understand how their individual work contributes to the organisation. Alignment here gives employees the confidence to start and complete their duties. Alignment to the overarching business goals also helps them to understand why their work matters, increasing their engagement.
- More efficient resource management and better productivity. Alignment supports a company to prioritise what is most important, making it easier to assign resources to the appropriate initiatives.
- Increased stakeholder confidence: clearly defined business goals which are aligned with actionable workplace plans not only give stakeholders great insight into the company, but provides confidence - whether that’s to invest, purchase or ‘buy in’ in any other form.
- Minimised organisational waste. From underperforming real estate to broken systems, alignment has the ability to highlight what’s not working and needs to be replaced or improved.
- Greater accountability. An aligned individual understands how each team or department functions and the roles they play within the organisation. This means that each employee knows how their own role affects others within the business. This creates more accountability for that team member.
- Better customer experiences. The most effective customer experiences align with the objectives of the company, are consistently delivered, and feel frictionless for the customer.
Workplace strategy inspires alignment from its earliest workshops. Axiom’s key objectives workshops, for example, encourage senior leadership to consider and then agree on the specific business objectives that can be met by a robust, data-driven workplace strategy. It is the very foundation of a unified approach to the workplace outcome.
Alignment is a key theme throughout the rest of the workplace strategy process too:
Research - We dig deep to understand the needs of the business and the people within by interrogating the data and collecting more of it through audits, employee engagement surveys, interviews and workshops. All of this information is key to creating authentic alignment when it comes to the new workplace strategy.
Analysis and Modelling - We use analysis and modelling to understand how you might work in the future and how this will impact your workplace. By getting a view into the future we can ensure that the workplace will continue to support business alignment into the future.
Business Case - We present our findings back and give you a complete picture, illustrating how your new workplace strategy aligns with the needs and goals of the business.
Feasibility - For large programs of change we might run a pilot so we are able to assess and adjust the strategy as needed. Here we are able to see in 'real life' how the strategy is aligned to the goals of the business.
What can happen if alignment is not achieved?
Misalignment is often subtle and sometimes difficult to detect. Yet without proper business alignment, you are likely to undermine the success of your business. Symptoms of misalignment to look out for include:
- Lack of accountability in your senior leadership for the achievement of goals or success of certain strategies
- Miscommunication between teams and departments
- Missed milestones on critical projects
- Lack of empowerment - and potential disillusionment
- Overwork of certain team members
- 'Emergencies' becoming a part of BAU
- Poor customer experiences as a result of poor communication or systems misalignment
- A hit to your bottom line - it is easy to see how all of these symptoms can lead to huge inefficiency and loss of business
If you want a workplace strategy partner to help you achieve these business objectives, work with a strategic workplace design partner who truly understands the importance of alignment.