While talent might be a priority for CEOs and executive leadership, it’s much bigger than just talent. It’s about recruiting, retention, engagement and employee productivity. Adidas is one company that is rethinking engagement and productivity with a new creative and dynamic workspace.
Episode 56: How Creative Workspaces Drive Engagement and Productivity with Aki Ben-Ezra, @adidasgroupjobs
On this episode of the Workology Podcast, I talk with Aki Ben-Ezra is the Senior Director HR Strategy AND Diversity with adidas. Earlier this year, adidas unveiled their new creative and dynamic workspace called the Pitch. Approximately 300 employees moved into the pitch building which includes 3 floors earlier this year. Each floor pilotis a different workplace style and concept. The Pitch offers multiple working opportunities but not traditional work stations. Employees choose between different rooms and options depending on the task at hand. They can book a project room and bring together a set group of people. Each workplace has a height adjustable desk.
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The Pitch is a manifestation of the larger adidas commitment to organizational culture. Aki says organizational culture, leadership key and what makes and breaks your company. Innovation is central at Adidas as is fun. She shares with us how they have made creativity the central part of the business model. This concept is baked into every part of their culture and not just the physical workspace but also development, feedback, engagement and learning. Did you know that adidas has tennis courts on their campus? They encourage employees to use physical activity to drive creativity and productivity.
Fostering Creativity in the Workplace Focused on Productivity
Not every corporate workspace can have their own pitch but Aki says it is easy to get started. She suggests starting with a pilot and work in a dedicated contained space so you can grow, change and create a movement within the organization that drives results. Adidas seeks ongoing feedback of employees who are using the Pitch building. A company mobile app is downloadable and allows employees to learn about the building and provide immediate feedback. They are encouraged to ask questions and make suggestions. From here changes can be made quickly and organizational leadership can see immediately if it improves how they work and productivity levels.
I absolutely loved having Aki as a guest on the podcast, and her use of the word serendipity was what really stuck with me when talking about workplace engagement, productivity and creativity. It’s not something that most business leaders associate with programs such as these. Aki tells us that serendipity is important. You (organizational leaders) must engineer opportunities into the workplace. It could be as simple as putting coffee machines into different places. I believe that engagement and creativity like any relationship takes work. It must be a priority. Thanks to Aki Ben-Ezra for being a guest on the podcast. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
- Summarising the essence of a truly diverse function at the adidas Group – Global Operations (written by Aki)
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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.