How Smart Buildings and IoT Are Impacting CRE
In today’s office, the responsibility for talent acquisition and retention is shared. There must be synergy between the Corporate Real Estate (CRE), Human Resources (HR), and Information Technology (IT) teams to meet your organization’s objectives.
When these three departments collaborate, they can be a powerful force for achieving company objectives. Once the leadership team and board of directors set a company-wide strategic plan, CRE, HR, and IT should work together to achieve the talent acquisition and retention objectives.
Let’s look at how that happens:
HR: The Human Factor
The HR team should have an in-depth understanding of the job market so they can develop an appropriate talent acquisition strategy, plan recruitment efforts and create competitive salary/benefits packages and perks. They’re also focused on developing training programs and guidance on policies like flexible work hours or co-location that will help retain the current employee base.
CRE: The Space Factor
The CRE team is concerned with space planning, space utilization, and optimizing the company’s real estate portfolio. This may look like planning moves or relocations, changing co-locations or allocations, or improving the design and function of the physical workspace. They’re also looking for ways to physically demonstrate the company culture through workplace design.
IT: The Tech Factor
The IT team focuses on provisioning employees and the environment with the right hardware and software so they can achieve company goals. Of course, they also handle maintenance and troubleshooting requests and ensure that company technology works so their people can work.
The Overlap: Where the Talent Acquisition and Retention Magic Happens
While each department has its own function and specialty, they should constantly be working together when it comes to winning and keeping top employees.
HR and CRE should collaborate to create a physical workspace that enhances a positive company culture. HR provides the insight into how employees work and what they need to do their jobs well and easily. CRE has the space utilization data to understand how the current workspace is or isn’t meeting those needs.
When evaluating potential moves or relocations, HR should provide CRE with data, like employee zip codes, so they can analyze how offices in different locations can impact commutes. For example, if the office is moved from a downtown location to one in the suburbs, HR can help estimate how many employees could be negatively impacted enough that they might quit. They can also provide data on the cost to acquire and train new employees, which will factor into CRE’s location analysis.
IT and CRE need to work together anytime there’s an move or relocation, footprint adjustment, or office redesign. While CRE will consider the layout and design, a well-designed space won’t help talent acquisition and retention if the Wi-Fi is spotty or slow. Since technology is so crucial to today’s workforce, it’s critical to understand the space requirements for cabling or Wi-Fi access. Moving from a traditional workplace setup, with cubicles and closed-door offices, to an open plan or activity-based workplace, will change the tech needs of your workforce: do they switch from desktops to laptops? Will they need new or different mobile devices? Will you add kiosks with wayfinding technology?
HR and IT can enhance the employee experience: how many workers are regularly frustrated by tech limitations? Either a service is down, slowing or preventing work entirely, or software doesn’t work as promised, forcing people to find workarounds or take extra steps to complete a task. With a full understanding of the tech your company provides, HR can provide appropriate training so employees can use that technology to its fullest potential.
These groups can also work together to provide digital signage or other displays for wayfinding or collaboration in soft seating areas.
Together, all three create an environment—physical, social, digital—that fosters a positive company culture and employee experience. As more data show how the employee experience and physical workplace help (or hinder) a company’s ability to reach its strategic goals, the CRE, HR, and IT teams will take on an even larger collaborative role in talent acquisition and retention.