Several years ago, financial giant Capital One set about updating its user experience. This included the workplace, retail centers and internal laboratories.

The company set up a prototype called Clarendon, in Northern Virginia, that is now being rolled out across the country at all Capital One locations.

At the CoreNet Global Summit in Philadelphia this week, Dave Clark, Director, Workplace Solutions, and Regional Lead, Southwest Region, along with Michelle Cleverdon, Workplace Strategy and Design Lead, shared the elements of Clarendon and learning points for the audience of corporate real estate executives.

A key takeaway, Michelle said, is that “space in and of itself does not constitute a change, the work style has to change and then the change supports it. If your employees can’t embrace that, then all you’ve done is waste a lot of money.”

The new experience is based on a three-tiered philosophy:

Inspiration: Destinations that attract talent, connectivity, light and openness, design with simple navigation in mind

Flexibility: Work where people work best, support innovation and individual spaces, technology and variety of work settings

Culture: Instill pride and personality, enhance well-being and happiness, remain efficient and adaptable.

Several key lessons that the Capital One workplace team picked up along the way:

Develop your own story:

  • One size does not fit all
  • Strong mission story
  • Organizational commitments

Engage Your Workforce:

  • Partner with your users
  • Through discovery define the problem statement
  • Recruit early adopters
  • Set expectations early and often

Use an integrated approach:

  • Dedicated strategy resources and center of excellence
  • Bring stakeholders and partners together
  • Change the interaction, sessions over presentation, focus groups
  • Build, Integrate, Improve
  • Start small
  • Open up the feedback loop
  • Continued test and learn
  • Build a kit of parts