Centric Tapped for Deep Experience as Remote-First Firm
Reimagining the workforce is a complex task – everything from team dynamics, employee preferences, real estate needs, technology requirements, leading virtually and the work itself had to be considered.
The pharmacy retailer selected Centric Consulting as its partner for its hybrid strategy transformation project. Centric’s long tenure as a remote-first company meant we had considerable breadth and depth of expertise around how organizations can successfully operate outside of the traditional office-centric model. We offered an unmatched clear point of view grounded in practical considerations and deep real-world experience.
Phase 1: Directional Workforce Assessment
First, we performed a directional workforce assessment to provide a top-down perspective. In collaboration with the executive leadership team, we developed the following Workplace Reimagined vision:
- To enable associates, managers and leaders to collaborate virtually, regardless of their workplace, and create healthy, customer-focused and productive outcomes.
We assessed the workforce’s current experience with remote work and identified the transition support needed for employees to permanently work remotely or in hybrid mode (some on site, some remote work).
Phase 2: Detailed Workforce Assessment
During the second phase of our work with the pharmacy retailer, we completed a detailed workforce assessment to establish a bottom-up perspective.
We used Centric’s Work Mode Compatibility Framework and assessment to define work modes for all employees, determining who would work onsite, who would be remote and who would be hybrid. In collaboration with our client’s leadership, we determined that the company would shift from a majority onsite pre-pandemic to nearly fully remote or hybrid.
During phases 1 and 2, we also supported a real estate assessment and strategy development that ultimately led to the decision to reduce the company’s real estate footprint and to redesign the type of workspace needed for modern collaboration.
Phase 3: Workplace Reimagined Strategy
In the final phase of our work, we provided a strategy, recommendations, and roadmap for our client to transition their workforce.
We leveraged Centric’s Digital First framework to establish a modernization plan that included establishing four population centers, selling real estate and transitioning to a hybrid workplace strategy that includes fully onsite, fully remote and hybrid employees with a targeted in-person collaboration strategy and modern facilities. Our recommendations included a 70-75 percent reduction in the pharmacy retailer’s physical footprint, resulting in significant financial savings.
In addition, we:
- Defined hybrid workplace best practices and cultural norms aligned with the company’s workforce modernization vision.
- Identified more than 20 key organization initiatives and created a roadmap to enable the hybrid workplace. This roadmap was organized into five categories including collaboration technology, human resources, change strategy implementation, workforce learning and targeted process transformation.
- Recommended learning experiences to educate and reskill leaders and the workforce on operating within a hybrid model.
- Defined a robust change management strategy to enable the workforce modernization imperative. The strategy included six focus areas: change vision and story; executive sponsorship and change network; communications; learning and performance support; people leader and associate engagement; and adoption metrics.
A Clear Path Into a New Way of Working
The pharmacy retailer recently began the journey of implementing the changes we recommended, announcing in late 2021 that over 2,000 employees would be staying remote indefinitely. The company also announced it would begin divesting its real estate, a move designed to improve shareholder returns and allow for reinvestment into the company. It also plans to set up remote-first collaborative workspaces.
Thanks to our help, the company had a detailed plan to bring its vision for a new way of working to life.