CASE STUDY: How to transition to a new post-Covid workplace people will love

Tess Julian

As organisations transition back into the physical workplace, many are taking the opportunity to reconnect their teams and reset their team culture.

This was particularly true for the leadership team at Morton, a geographically diverse business. With 85 distributed staff, the leadership team knew that the business’s success revolved around the individual teams working effectively. Collaborizza was used for this purpose, resulting in excellent conversations and individuals and groups physically reconnecting.

It also highlighted that the existing values needed to evolve to be more relevant to the post-Covid workplace.

The Collaborizza process provided the input for refreshing the cultural values as it is a natural bottom-up process. The leadership team understood that a high-performing culture needed to be built from the ground up. So, the extension of Collaborizza to a cultural adjustment process was a natural next step.

Covid future. Time and budget were tight.

Covid has amplified the shadow culture, the negative thoughts and behaviours created by stress and anxiety. In good times, when things are going well, you don’t notice the shadows. They only come to the fore when people are tested, and they can drown out other stories and become the only story. We looked for different experiences to create new conversations and replace the negative narrative that was emerging.

Ewan Morton, Joint Managing Director

The challenge:

Was to engage all staff in a physical environment to engage as teams and co-design new team values that reflect the reality of a post-Covid world. And everyone is busy.

The goal:

Was to reconnect teams and transition the workplace culture across the organisation, keeping the best of the current culture and unmasking new values for a high-performing culture, with people and well-being at the centre. And keep their existing staff.

With 85 staff spread across 7 locations, a tight budget and numerous lockdowns, everyone was busy with their day-to-day work. But they knew it was important and had to find the time.

First, the leadership selected an executive coach and (Allan Ryan) to guide the process. Next, they chose Collaborizza as the engagement tool for all teams.

Initially, Allan facilitated several larger workshops. Then, he trained internal staff to deliver the smaller workshops. Following the delivery of all ten Collaborizza workshops, the internal HR team collated data and outcomes. This became the basis for consultation with staff about refreshing the organisational values by invigorating the team, enhancing collaboration, and propelling them forward post-Covid.

It was the most straightforward and effective team-building process I have ever been involved in.
Collaborizza made it easy and safe for everyone to be included and contribute openly to the outcomes. In addition, Collaborizza gave all staff an equal voice and a common language and was an enjoyable way to deal with important topics.

David Elton, Joint Managing Director

Finally, a small internal project team created a new values document including all staff engagement, commitment, and input. Moreover, as staff had already been engaged in the entire journey, an implementation or change program was deemed unnecessary.


Postscript

After co-creating their new values, Morton Real Estate shared these new values – by their people, for their people. 

  • Courage & Commitment
  • Respect & Trust
  • Fun & Harmony

*adapted from the article How to transition to a new post-Covid workplace people will love by Tess Julian, first posted on Hargraves Institute.

Tess Julian

Tess Julian has devoted her professional life to empowering individuals in the workplace, focusing on the development of essential skills. Her journey began as a high school drama teacher, nurturing young minds through creative expression. Later, she transitioned into training adults in soft skills, honing their abilities to navigate professional environments effectively. Presently, Tess’s concentration lies in cultivating skills vital for the modern workplace: innovation, collaboration, and diversity.