Transforming University of Ottawa Facilities


The Challenge

The University of Ottawa’s Facilities team is comprised of 175 employees providing building planning, architecture, construction, maintenance and operational services. The team’s work is critical to the functioning of the University’s 90 buildings, serving a community of 43,000 students and staff.

Faced with a rising demand for services due to expansion, and a fixed budget envelope, Facilities had to find a way to do more with less. It needed to reimagine its service delivery model in a way that responded to increasing and constantly evolving client expectations.

The Solution

Results Map® partnered with the Facilities team to provide integrated change management and communications support. A large-scale Transformation initiative was launched in order to shift the organization’s structure, culture and operations with the goal of increasing client satisfaction and delivering maximum value to the University.

The Results Map® team provided a full range of bilingual services in change management and communications, including:

  • A Stakeholder Analysis to understand the business context for the transformation and identify opportunities for leverage and collaboration.
  • A Communications & Change Management Strategy and Implementation Plan developed through a highly consultative process, guided by the Results Map® methodology for strategic communications.
  • Capacity building programs to support managers and supervisors in their role in leading through change.
  • Pulse Check employee engagement surveys designed and deployed to measure employee engagement during change, and solicit feedback from staff.
  • Rebranding of the organization from Physical Resources Service to Facilities, helping create a strong signal of meaningful change among employees and clients.
  • Strategic counsel and coaching to the Senior Management Team throughout the transformation process and during the sustainment phase.
  • An extensive Employee Engagement Campaign focused on driving positive change through a highly communicative, collaborative approach built on a strong emotional appeal. The Campaign included collateral, graffiti posters, videos and events.

The theme of the Employee Engagement Campaign was “We Power Ideas”. The concept was to animate how the critical contributions of Facilities helped enable the University’s academic and research work. The campaign showcased this connection and celebrated employees as being at the heart of the University’s functioning.

As part of the change communications program supporting Transformation, videos were produced to help foster employee engagement. The focus of the videos was to tap into the intrinsic Facilities team culture, and dial up the employees’ sense of pride for making meaningful, behind the scenes contributions to the University’s functioning.

The Results

  • To date, Transformation has delivered $2.3 million in increased productivity.
  • While the square metres of building space managed by Facilities increased, the operational cost per square metre declined by almost 5%.
  • Overtime costs decreased by 45%.
  • Client satisfaction and positive impressions of Facilities increased.
  • Employee satisfaction and engagement increased.
  • Staff were inspired by the We Power Ideas campaign to create their own user-generated content including this video initiated and produced by operations staff.

The Facilities Transformation project was an award-winning initiative, recognized with the highest awards for change communications both in Canada (the Silver Leaf) and internationally (the Gold Quill) by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The initiative was also honoured with IABC’s Best of the Best Award acknowledging the most exceptional work from across all award categories globally.

Receiving this top international award with Results Map and being recognized as ‘Best of the Best’, reminds me how our success was founded on our close partnership and unwavering focus on the expected outcomes. The Results Map team’s unique expertise, creativity and profound respect for our organization acting in convergence with our internal knowledge and determination produced this most excellent result.
Claudio Brun del Re
Executive Director (Retired), Facilities, University of Ottawa
Primer on Change Communications

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