In 2018, Lidl was moving to new headquarters, a high-class building in terms of sustainability standards (Breeam Oustanding standard). At the same time, Lidl was in a process of transforming the leadership principles, the values, and the organizational culture. The new office building became the voice of Lidl as a brand, as an employer, as an innovator, all within the context of sustainability.
In order to identify the expectations of our colleagues regarding the new HQ, we conducted extensive research: internal survey on organizational culture, new working space test, and key facilities survey. The overall conclusions of all the research were: the need for constant communication regarding the new office project, to involve employees in the decision-making process, for more facilities for a healthy lifestyle, and a more relaxed, friendlier working environment.
Employees found out about the new HQ in December 2016. Throughout the process, they were permanently involved in making decisions. Waiting for the building to be completed was like waiting for Santa Claus. In order to involve our colleagues into the development process, in May 2017 we organized guided tours on the construction site, led by the Constructions and Real Estate team. To facilitate the change of culture and make sure that key information reaches all employees, we selected an ambassador in each HQ team. Thus, we created a team of ambassadors: our own discussion group with weekly meetings in order to debate the progress of the building, the functionalities, etc.
Decisions made together: Choosing the interior design concept for the building (June 2017); Sports gear and aerobics classes (June 2017); Eatery menu and working hours (July 2017); #noiLidl café (August 2017); New way of working (September – October 2017); A tree for each department, right next to the new offices – the trees included in the landscape plan of the building were planted by employees themselves (November 2017); #noiLidl 2in1 parties in the new home, featuring INNA (December 2017).
Until the official relocation, we decided to have intensive communication every day of January. For 3 weeks, we posted daily news about the final menu at the eatery, the schedule of the shuttle bus, the rules of the parking lot, etc. On the first day at the new offices, all colleagues received a “new home present” and a brochure with useful information. We had brunch together at the café, we had meetings with the gym trainer, we took time to visit the building and all its spaces. We gave the employees’ families and friends the opportunity to discover the building for an entire day. Once again, the HQ turned into a party venue – with a karting track, food trucks and festival atmosphere in the parking lot, with two floors full of children activities, and a surprise for the grown-ups – Marian Râlea singing the tunes that reminded us of childhood. The employees were the guides of their own families and showed them around the rest of the building and offices.
350 employees were involved directly in the activities carried out in the campaign. More than 80% of the HQ employees read at least one story about the offices in a month. Each story about the office was read by at least 75% of the HQ employees. The response rate for the questionnaires we launched about the offices was a minimum of 72%.