Modernising a municipality: The case of Dresden
Like historic buildings need careful restoration, organisations need similar rejuvenation. In Dresden, a city distinguished by its classical architecture, the municipality has taken ambitious measures to modernise and make a digital leap.
A ‘catch 22’ problemWith a swiftly retiring workforce, Dresden is looking at a catch 22 problem: It needs to recruit up to 2000 new and more digitally capable employees to stay in operation – but will those talents want to join a seemingly antique workplace where paper is the main method of storing information?
To overcome the deadlock, Dresden has decided to work on both problems in one go; it is time for ambitious organisational changes and a digital transformation. To ensure the transformation will be successful, Ramboll Management Consulting was hired to develop a modernisation plan that will be rolling out from now until 2030.
The plan lays out the potentials of digitalisation while safeguarding against the classic pitfalls of organisational changes.
Modernisation planThe backbone in Dresden’s wide-ranging 2030-plan is about modernising and optimising the entire organisation. The municipality has well-functioning yet isolated subdivisions. This will be solved by organisational restructuring, improved communication procedures, and a flatter organisational structure.
The optimisations will, in turn, be supported by change management of the municipality’s new, digital agenda - tailored with insights from employee -surveys, -interviews, and -workshop enquiries.
Employer brandingIn addition to normal churn, Dresden’s municipality will lose two thirds of its staff by 2030 to retirement. Some 2000 colleagues. Hence, the city is doomed to work on its employer image to attract new employees.
Therefore, providing surveys, interviews, and statistical analysis of how the municipality is perceived within their target group on social media, Ramboll helped Dresden craft an employer branding strategy as part of the modernisation plan. The work will help the municipality build an employer brand that reflects its digital and organisational ambitions to appeal to its potential recruits.
Physical surroundingsWith employee involvement as point of departure, Ramboll’s assistance also set the empirical frame on how Dresden’s new, 200-million-euro town-hall best supports the organisational changes. Replacing Dresden’s dilapidating 19th-century town hall will furthermore fuel the municipality’s aim to be an attractive workplace while landmarking the city’s sustainable, digital agenda.
Dominik Benke, Ramboll’s project lead.
What we delivered
- Analyses and improvement of processes, digitalisation, workplace psychology, health, and stakeholder relations.
- Workshops, interviews, surveys, management training, and more.
- An all-in HR- and employer branding strategy that considers everything from marketing to employee training.
- Recommendations on how to build the new city hall in synergy with the organisational changes.
- Change management to stimulate a smoother transformation to a future-proof, digitally enabled municipality
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