Associate Director, Workplace Strategy and Solutions

The Associate Director, Workplace Strategist will be an integral part of both the Global Workplace Strategy team within GRES (part of GWES), and the local facilities teams in NJ and PA. The Workplace Strategist will develop and drive workplace strategy initiatives in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania regions in the context of the NJ/PA Master Planning process. The leading candidate can be based near either Kenilworth, NJ, or West Point/Upper Gwynedd, PA, or between the two. The Workplace Strategist will be responsible for designing, developing and driving the evolving workplace strategy as well as related change management for projects in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This includes leading the cultural shift from traditional work environments to Activity Based Working and maximizing employee engagement in Real Estate initiatives. As an integral member of the local team, the Workplace Strategist also will help facilitate the internal change management effort needed to support an increasingly mobile and unassigned workforce (i.e., transition to Real Estate as a Service model). The Workplace Strategist will need to assert strong ownership over the process and effectively leverage a network of internal and external team members to be successful. He or she will act as the primary coach for leaders and executives to help them fill the role of change sponsor as well as being at the frontline for change management for employees. The Strategist will also guide local Real Estate project teams in integrating the change management activities into their project plans. The Workplace Strategist will also provide direct support and coaching to front-line managers and supervisors as they help their direct reports through transitions. Workplace Consulting and Research Coordinate workplace consulting and research efforts, including badge swipe studies, visual observation studies, and Leesman Surveys, along with qualitative activities such as focus groups and leader interviews, in partnership with internal and external providers and with direct facilitation and involvement as needed (e.g., focus group facilitation)  Ensure that business requirements are accurately defined, business implications and impacts of initiatives (including on cultural dynamics) are understood, and leadership decisions regarding change initiatives are informed through a thorough and thoughtful analysis and recommendations, including validation of changing headcount requirements Change Management  Design, develop, and implement a Merck specific change management strategy for Activity Based Working, currently branded Workplace of the Future  Apply a structured change management approach and methodology for the change related to the transformational and strategic Real Estate projects and change efforts. Drive the development of change management tools and communication plans using Workplace of the Future playbook materials as a basis Work with project teams to integrate change management activities into the overall project plan and in a timely matter  Lead the execution of change management communication plans by employee-facing managers and business leaders, including schedule of activities, standard communications templates, customization for specific business units, and participation/presentation at business unit events  Work with key stakeholders to identify and anticipate potential points of resistance; develop counter-strategies to reduce resistance and foster positive acceptance of change  Create and implement reinforcement mechanisms to engage and enable the business to successfully accept and adopt the transformation Project Execution and Ongoing Support  Work with internal and external partners including Strategic Planning, Design, Project Execution, Facilities Management, and Communications to support project implementation Ensure that global workplace and occupancy standards are consistently applied, fielding and vetting exception requests as needed  Lead post-occupancy assessment activities, including communication of findings and indicated actions  Develop a program to inform and support employees who have formally adopted unassigned seating including intranet resources, concierge model (Real Estate as Service), education on how to use new space types, and other information on how to be most successful as a mobile worker Qualifications Education, Experience and Skills Required: Bachelor's degree with four or more years of experience; Master's degreepreferred  Experience with Activity Based Working, project management approaches, tools and phases of the project lifecycle  Experience with transformational and strategic real estate projects Exceptional communication skills - both written and verbal, with the capability to present and articulate complex concepts Ability to translate business requirements into behavioral, work space or system solutions Three or more years of Change Management experience overall with two or more years of change management experience in real estate projects Familiarity with graphic design and data visualization; able to use both to present workplace research findings to inspire change Strong thought leadership, change execution, continuous improvement mindset, and program management skills Demonstrates transparency, trust, passion, teamwork, versatility, integrity, accountability, respect, and action Ability to simultaneously balance and adjust to multiple changing priorities and make decisions with speed and accuracy Ability to lead through influence and be a proactive partner with a strong customer service orientation who builds relationships by building trust.  Ability to influence positive workplace change through engagement with senior leadership and key business contacts; partner with other corporate services groups on shared initiatives Language:  English Required Requisition ID: REA000138
Salary Range: NA
Minimum Qualification
5 - 7 years

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