Hollard: The Office Move

Author :

Claire Beswick; Conrad Viedge

Pages :

11

Product Type :

Case

Reference # :

WBS-2009-7

Teaching Note :

Institute:

Wits Business School

Setting:

Johannesburg

Year:

2009

Keywords:

Leadership, ODD, HR management, organisational culture, call centre management, building architecture

Summary/Abstract:

We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us – Winston Churchill (28 October 1943) By April 2009, Hollard Insurance had been in Arcadia, its new building, for a little over three years. A key motive behind the move had been to draw all Hollard employees together, so as to sustain and reinforce a common culture and facilitate communication across business units. Now, Hollard’s CEO, Nic Kohler, had a few things to consider: had the new building had an impact on Hollard’s culture, and on balance; had this been positive; and should he now move the company’s call centres to a smaller town, where competition for talent would be less intense? This might improve employee retention and better enable the company to invest in its call centre employees. At the same time, it would lower the salary bill. But would it also alienate the call centre employees, who provided a critical interface with Hollard’s customers? If Hollard did decide to move them off-site, what should he do to minimise the potential negative effects of doing this?