Property Technology: Driving Culture Change at Mcdonald's

Property Technology: Driving Culture Change at Mcdonald's

I recently read an excellent quote from Ryan Simonetti, CEO of Convene, a premium hospitality space-as-a service provider, who said, “Space is that the visual communication of a corporation and will have the power to maneuver people.” With the continued corporate war for talent and wish to make environments that foster innovation and speed to plug, the timing of this statement couldn’t be more appropriate. Corporations still move far away from the past notion of facilities as an expense to be managed, toward space as an investment to be leveraged.

If space is an organization's visual communication, I might suggest that Property Technology is that the muscle that provides movement and has the power to motivate and encourage. Is your Property Technology strategy the muscle driving your workplace forward or does it feel more sort of a 40-year-old’s first time at the gym in numerous years; difficult, painful, and simply given up on?

At McDonald’s Corporation, we recently completed the enter our new 500,000 sq ft global HQ, after quite thirty years within the same suburban Chicago location. Ours withdraw into the town (Ray Kroc’s first office was in downtown Chicago) provided a chance to expand efforts in driving cultural change at an industry leader. It had been clear our visual communication wasn't communicating our vision, and that we definitely needed to develop our muscle further when it came to Property Technology.

Drawing from the teachings learned from multiple pilot projects over the preceding years, our McDonald’s corporate land (CRE) team crafted a replacement workplace strategy for the HQ that blended dedicated functional neighborhoods, unassigned workspace, and activity-based work, using Property Technology to make a renewed visual communication and drive cultural change toward an innovation mindset.

Using location-based service integrated into WiFi infrastructure, we created a technology stack that leverages presence detection to drive multiple systems, providing comfort and convenience, and creating a singular technology experience. All of those services are then wrapped into a mobile workplace app that gives one single access point for all enhanced employee functions. The workplace app offers the convenience of:

• Wayfinding that permits for full blue dot functionality and turns by turn navigation

Success with Property Technology requires a changing mindset within CRE around partnerships, skills sets, and a forward focus

• room booking including room availability at a look by floor or location

• Push notifications to prompt for room booking or check-in supported presence detection

• Direct and instant temperature control supported location

• Simplified facilities requests leveraging location-based services

• Transportation information providing shuttle arrival times for train commuters

So, with all of the Property Technology options available (and the amount of providers is growing rapidly) how does one determine what's right for your organization? How does one integrate technology which will not only meet your current needs but can survive the subsequent economic downturn?

For our McDonald’s CRE team is was critical for us to tie our Property Technology strategy back to our broader business drivers. As McDonald’s culture continues to evolve toward a technology and innovation mindset, it had been important that our visual communication communicates an equivalent. As we leverage technology to satisfy the changing demands of our customers, from mobile order to mobile payments, from order kiosks in restaurants to at-home delivery, technology is driving how we expect about customer engagement. As a result, decisions made around workplace strategy, design, and technology were all checked out with an identical lens. Are we fully leveraging the workplace, including Property Technology, as a way to drive the culture forward? Does the workplace inspire our employees toward a mindset of innovation and creativity with technology together of the levers?

Success with Property Technology requires a changing mindset within CRE around partnerships, skills sets, and a forward focus.

Our success with technology, in great part, is thanks to the partnership with our IT organization. Early within the HQ project, we engaged with IT to make sure integration of IT strategy including a mobile-first concept – WiFi and cellular technology enable full mobility within the office with all employees provided a laptop and cellphone (no landlines or network cables to each desk). The success of mobile-first and our IT partnership has been foundational in our further Property Technology initiatives.

Our CRE team continues to evolve, adding staff positions with skill sets that allow us to more effectively speak IT’s language. Our newly created roles around Smart Building Systems Administration and Data Analytics are ensuring not only current but the long term success of our Property Technology investments.

Finally, Property Technology should be viewed as an endless improvement opportunity. As we still build our technology muscle, the info gained from our initial investment is getting used to telling future enhancements to our technology stack. As an example, location-based services are informing enhanced technology investments to further accuracy around utilization and presence detection. All are driving the changing nature of CRE—from a tactical response to a consultant based function— empowering our business units to leverage the workplace as a driver of cultural change effectively.

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