Utilisation data and change management
Can involving people in collecting utilisation data get their buy-in to workplace change?
Workplace change is always contentious. Often, it is the process of achieving change that is disliked, rather than the change itself. Why is change contentious? By nature, everyone has a unique perspective and draws on different experiences. People spend a great deal of their time in their workplace and so feel passionate about it.
Utilisation data can be very powerful. It can clearly and objectively answer key questions that inform the change management approach. But how do we get this data in a way that doesn’t feel like spying or alienating those it studies?
Collecting data in a way that requires everyone, or at least every team, to contribute can be an effective way of involving everyone and help to bring more trust and visibility to the process. For example, a utilisation app can be used to prompt users to add depth to the data by supplementing information. When a meeting space is occupied by a large number of people the app may ask what activity is happening in it. The user input may reveal that instead of all the people working on a single activity, they are in fact working in a number of smaller groups spread across the space. Adding this depth to the data ensures better output. This helps the design process but also keeps the trust of end users because they have more belief in what the results reveal.
Information captured by staff should generally be evaluated alongside independently gathered insights and data. Confidence in the findings of any research is increased when findings from using different methods and tools align. This is especially true where change is more contentious and the employee data needs a level of validation to ensure no biases have crept in.
Involving employees as part of wider change processes gives them an early voice in the workplace change process. It not only makes for better results, but it has knock-on effects such as feeling valued and empowered, and heightened morale.
This blog contributor was Paul, our Principal Industrial Designer who works in our interior design team. Paul’s wide-ranging of experience in engaging end users in the design of complex workplaces. He is inspired by Philippe Starck, an industrial designer whose eye-catching take on design includes maritime infrastructure and hotels.