Pillar 1: Dedicated leadership
Depending on the size and scope of the project, enabling your organization for hybrid work will take considerable time and effort and will almost certainly present challenges. Employees will need clear direction, unwavering commitment, and continued reassurance from leadership at every stage of the journey.
Before embarking on a digital evolution to support hybrid or remote work, your company’s leaders should:
Synthesize strategic priorities
Everything cascades from your C-suite, where executives must align hybrid workplace aspirations with broader business objectives. By connecting the “what” to the “why” and driving the “how,” you can provide a cohesive vision and tangible reason for the transformation. This alignment also gives those responsible for executing the strategy a clear understanding of its goals.
Kyndryl’s workplace modernization coincided with our journey to become an independent company.
After synthesizing our digital transformation objectives with our plans for organizational growth, three strategic priorities emerged:
- Simplify legacy processes and environments
- Enrich user experiences for employees and customers
- Reduce security risks and the overall cost of technology operations
Each objective reflects a business imperative; however, they collectively support Kyndryl’s larger mission to be a partner and employer of choice.
Collaborate across departments and locations
Workplace transformation transcends titles, departments, and in many cases, time zones, making it crucial for your leaders to solicit input and help from stakeholders across the organization. This company-wide collaboration increases operational efficiencies and ensures hybrid work initiatives benefit your entire workforce.
When planning Kyndryl’s workplace modernization, our leadership worked with global counterparts in virtually every department to establish policies and procedures that support a remote-first environment. Three teams played pivotal roles in the process:
- CIO office: Our CIO office began planning Kyndryl’s workplace transformation several months before our official launch as an independent company in November 2021. This foresight allowed us to analyze numerous technology vendors before choosing a partner whose solutions could power our hybrid workplace model. Following several months co-creating with leaders from various practice areas and markets, the CIO team unveiled a three-phase, enterprise-wide change management plan.
- Human resources: After researching workplace and cultural sensitivities within regional markets, our human resources department drafted the Kyndryl Flexible Workplace Policy, a corporate directive that’s structured enough to deploy globally, yet flexible enough to adjust locally. Country leaders now customize this document to accommodate their unique circumstances while operating within established guidelines.
- Real estate and facilities: Our Real Estate and Data Center Services team manages Kyndryl’s portfolio of offices and facilities, ensuring all locations are equipped to deliver consistent onsite experiences for employees and customers. As one component of this effort, the group introduced an integrated workplace management system and an accompanying app that employees who need or want to be in the office use to choose their workspace or meeting room for the day or week.
In truth, everyone can and should contribute to your workplace transformation, regardless of their status, location, or business unit. By breaking down internal silos and driving collaboration among individuals, teams, and practice areas, you can inspire action, foster acceptance, and implement change at scale.
Communicate and celebrate
When executing your hybrid strategy, your executives need to champion the cause tirelessly. Sharing progress, celebrating successes, and being transparent builds trust and generates excitement among employees.
Within Kyndryl, our Chairman and CEO, Martin Schroeter, kicked off global communications for our workplace transformation with an open mic livestream. He used the platform to share details about our exclusive technology partner and outline timeframes for our transition to new tools.
Our communications teams and executive office then began disseminating information about the transition with emails, videos, blog and newsletter articles, and weekly intranet posts. Today, employees can use three digital collaboration hubs to find news, FAQs, best practices, and quick links to application-specific insights and training.
By remaining relentlessly devoted to your transformation efforts, providing ongoing updates and guidance, and engaging employees across your organization, your leadership team can co-create a sustainable workplace model that evolves as your company grows.