A Mobile Communications Company – Headquarter Relocation and Consolidation in Chicago Illinois

A suburban Chicago-based mobile communications company was undergoing massive restructuring and faced with the common challenge during restructures, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures of needing to consolidate their workforce into a new work environment in a completely new location. As with many technology companies in that time period, this organization had to relocate 2,500 employees from a suburban campus setting to a much smaller downtown Chicago office footprint. The existing campus had more than 1.1MM square feet and the downtown location consolidated them to 675K square feet.

The overall Change Management Plan included an implementation plan and charter, stakeholder assessments and interviews, visioning session in partnership with design team, internal communications strategy, business readiness assessment for both office and lab environments, workplace strategy value proposition and positioning initiatives for the different business units, and multi-tiered training for managers and self-paced online training for all employees. Project challenges included:

  • The Entire Workforce Was Impacted by the Transition. Every employee locally in Illinois as well as many globally had to be relocated from a suburban to downtown location as well as from global site closures from China, India, Florida, San Francisco and New Jersey.
  • Real Estate Footprint was Reduced by 40%. More people had to be consolidated into less space.
  • Employee Commute Times Were 2-5x Higher. Employee commute times to the new location would 2-5x greater in length so the decision caused a quality of life disruption for many employees who were used to working outside of downtown and living nearer to their work location.

Specific project achievements included:

  • The Change Engagement Plan drove all other plans to success from the communications strategy to the organizational work plan.
  • The project was the winner of CFO’s Bravo award, CEO’s Team Excellence award, and Project of the Year award by CoreNet Global as well as many other industry accolades.
  • The new workplace environment adopted an open environment and activity based work strategy that drove collaboration and a positive work culture.
  • A robust change management program was implemented to safeguard the core talent retention targets.
  • The new office population successfully incorporated diverse cultures and employees from global site closures in China and India as well as national site closures in Florida, San Francisco and New Jersey.