Changing the modern workspace with AMP's Lisa Harvey - WellBeingGrow
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Changing the modern workspace with AMP’s Lisa Harvey

Changing the modern workspace with AMP’s Lisa Harvey

“How do you connect the culture and the practice of an organisation to the spatial design of an organisation?”

Lisa Harvey is the Head of Workplace Experience at AMP and believes that the design of a workspace can impact the employee experience. In our podcast interview with Terry Robson this week, Harvey discusses how employee health and wellbeing is influenced by office ergonomics and tangibility. There is a symbiotic relationship that exists between the workspace and its culture; an uplifting office space will create an uplifting culture!

AMP is evolving their employee experience using methods that Harvey designed called “Sparkitecture” and “Good work”. These methods are there to help create an environment that understands and supports the wants and needs of every employee and to drive a positive work culture that can help the company flourish!

TR: “Now you are going to have to explain, you are the head of Work place experience, what does that mean??”

LH: “(It’s) A new term for AMP and also one that I think is starting to grow a bit of momentum amongst organisations… so what we are looking to do is, how do you connect the culture and the practice of an organisation to the spatial design of an organisation? And making sure they’re congruent to each other.”

TR: “Ok, so your bringing together what people actually go through day to day with where they are doing it and how they are doing it?”

LH: “We look at who do we espouse to be as an organisation, how do we want people to feel and act in an organisation (so there’s your cultural layer), then we go through and say how does the organisation need to work (so the practices in the organisation), and what’s the best spaces we can design to enable actually that and also making sure that people are educated in the science of those spaces in the environment so they get the best out of those spaces.

TR: “Ok so their form dictates function in a way. The shape of the space people are working in influences the way they feel and how they feel feeds back into the space they work in. It’s a circle.”

LH: “Workplace touches every employee in AMP, you have to come into the workplace it helps you perform and there is such a tangible wellbeing element to how you work in a space. And I wanted to see how much I could influence that in this role.”

TR: “…You want to create a work place experience for the individual that allows the organisation to be what it can be…. So are you saying by supporting the people that work for an organisation, the organisation might potentially go to places it can’t even imagine yet?”

LH: “First of all employees should be attracted to a company and and its purpose and do their values align to that company’s values and what that company is here to achieve. And that’s where you get the paradigm of whether people will go and support work for a tobacco company versus an insurance company versus a not for profit for example. Can I find something in there that aligns to my values.  And I think AMP have done a really good job with (what) we call our noble purpose, we are here to help people own their tomorrow and help them live a better life and this is how we do that… if you attract then right people in through your employee experience and its one where you can retain people and attract the right people too. Your point is you’ve got the right talent and capability that drive and innovate what the purpose of what your company is. Because they are actually external thinkers, their change leadership is able to continually keep pace with where that organisation needs to be. And that purpose of that organisation is only ever as good as the people that exist in it.”

TR: “And that is the purpose of evolution. Lack of change is death.”



Terry Robson, is the editor-in-chief of WellBeing magazine. He has written five books, presents on-air segments for radio stations around Australia including a weekly program titled Terry on 702 ABC Sydney’s Afternoons program with James Valentine, and is also co-presenter of the ABC podcastseries Talking Health. Terry has previously worked as health correspondent for Sky News, the Seven Network, Channel TEN and NBN Television. He currently makes regular appearances on The Morning Show.

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