Merck Group

Client: Merck

Location: Darmstadt

Scope: 900 WP

Timeframe: 2018 – 2019

Services: Needs analysis, user/focus group workshops, vision interviews, workplace concept, generic layout, change management concept, communication, structure user representative network, game rules posters, executive workshops and trainings, Follow-up study

Working together in an open space area – this will be a new work experience for the approximately  900 Merck employees in the areas of human resources, technology, finance and purchasing. The employees who have worked in very different work environments on the Merck campus so far will have to overcome  challenges in addition to the new positive work experience. The changes include new work behaviors, new rules for working in an open space, but also changes in the work and leadership culture.

Based on a compressed user analysis, we were able to identify the requirements for the new work environment, define first directions for the workplace concept as part of user workshops, and develop the generic layout. Finally, the user units could choose from two different layout variants – a more open, team-oriented  layout and a „single layout“ that supports focused individual work. In order to ideally support Merck employees in this process of change, to deprive them of concerns and fears and to create acceptance and enthusiasm for the new concept at an early stage, workingwell accompanied the employees and executives as part of a comprehensive change management program.

In a kick-off workshop, goals, possible steps and measures were first discussed. With the help of „Visions Interviews,“ which we conducted with the top management, area managers, project sponsors and the works council, a clear picture of the project could then be drawn up. In order
to bring the vision and the most import-ant messages related to the new concept closer to all affected employees, a vision video was developed and made available on the company‘s internal Internet along with further relevant information. The establishment of a user representative network that acted as a „mouthpiece“ between the employees and the project team and a very close cooperation with the „change agents“ were decisive for the positive course of the project.

As part of regular „leadership sessions“ with the executives, we ensured the involvement and regular exchange of important information. In training sessions, they were given assistance in leading in the new work environment and culture, experiences were exchanged and discussed together. Change measures also included defining and presenting a clear work etiquette, continuous communication to employees, and organizing site guided tours with all units. In addition, we enabled employees to actively participate in decision-making processes, such as furniture selection. These were exhibited in a mini showroom and could thus be experienced
and tested beforehand.

Accompanying the move into the new space in January to April 2018, a celebration in recognition of the change agents is to take place in late summer of 2018 in addition to a welcome event. In order to then obtain a final picture of the acceptance and success of the
new concept, a follow-up examination is planned as part of an online survey.

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