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Goldman Sachs Powers and Unifies a Global Workforce Across 75 Locations

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The concept of the workplace continues to evolve to accommodate the ways people now engage with work and each other. Once a nice-to-have, unified workplace apps have become a critical part of the employee experience, powering and centralizing hybrid work. They’re also the ideal solution for the ‘app overload’ that causes 43% of workers to report spending up to an hour each day searching across the growing number of single-purpose digital tools.

Goldman Sachs recognized early the importance of a digital workplace experience in unifying and engaging employees, launching its workplace app, Canopy, in 2019, in two locations. It centralized tools like navigation, room booking, visitor registration, food service, help desk ticketing and more, in a localized, centralized digital experience, on mobile devices or desktops.

In 2020 the company rapidly redesigned the experience to address the pandemic, building out Canopy with new notifications and proactive communications to reduce uncertainty and a daily health attestation that enabled people to return to offices while feeling safe and comfortable, all while scaling the geographic rollout. Today Canopy provides a unified, localized experience for Goldman Sachs’ global workforce across 75 locations.

Goldman Sachs VP, Corporate Workplace Solutions, Tim Cook explained in a webinar, “Our app is a unified experience that’s much more focused on the user as opposed to single function platforms. The productivity gain comes from being able to seamlessly navigate throughout the entire employee workday — all mobily in the palm of their hands.”

Goldman Sachs is able to respond rapidly to the needs of a changing workplace because they built their app experience on a low-code platform that’s easy to expand and maintain, rather than rushing to fill individual needs with new tools. The approach is one Gartner research VP John-David Lovelock recommends. “Companies that recognize there’s an evolutionary path to everything they put in are going to be able to get to that full, human-centric remote work productivity-based utopia,” he said, “A little bit slower but much more cost-effectively.”

The Agility to Flex with the Times

Cook described how their approach to using the mobile app as a central hub served Goldman’s workforce during the early phase of the pandemic and as they returned to offices. “What Canopy gave us during COVID was a way to notify everyone and reduce employee uncertainty. It offered a way to communicate — and receive — information on what was going to happen. We were able to lead in offering a daily health attestation. We were able to provide guidance around adhering to the latest regulations to give employees confidence that we were offering a safe workspace for them to come to. That allows us to minimize distractions, help drive productivity, and enable employees to stay focused while feeling comfortable.”

Goldman Sachs’ workplace app is central in unifying all the different experiences of the workplace today by making sure they’re easily accessible in one place. One example Cook uses to show the direct line from their app philosophy to a better employee experience is in how the app handles facilities requests.

“Those were always handled through help desks and phone calls and follow-ups. Once we put a user-friendly experience onto the Canopy app, we saw over 30% adoption of self-service support tickets going right through the mobile app. That is a huge win, both from the operations side with people leveraging self-service tools, and on the end user side, as people aren’t sitting on the phone with the help desk as their ticket gets handled.”

Cook outlined the steps in the company’s evolutionary path to delivering its unified app experience:

  1. Define goals and guiding principles
  2. Architect the app on a flexible platform to prioritize employee enablement and productivity
  3. Design it to give every employee a local experience of global systems and processes
  4. Plan for a phased launch, starting small, gathering input, iterating, and expanding wide
  5. Drive awareness and usage
  6. When faced with the unexpected, enlist stakeholders and pivot to address changing needs
  7. Continue to expand features, driving more users to the app, more often

As the hybrid workplace continues to evolve, workplace apps must also expand and adapt, with the tools employees need to work productively, collaborate, and succeed, in the office and anywhere.

Learn more: Facility Manager’s Guide to Hybrid Work >

Learn more: See the Goldman Sachs’ Canopy App in Action >

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