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National Bank of Canada reinvents workplace, empowers employees with Microsoft 365

Logo of the National Bank of Canada.

Profile picture of Ron Markezich.National Bank of Canada—one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups—set out to increase collaboration, speed up decision-making, and improve business results by reinventing their way of working. National Bank redesigned its headquarters, introducing open floor plans with no offices. All employees across business units can work together to deliver on strategic objectives, including the bank’s executives. But they didn’t just transform the physical environment, they embarked on a journey of digital transformation empowering their employees to drive innovation with Microsoft 365 technologies.

The way National Bank encouraged all 23,000 employees to adopt these transformative digital tools is a fascinating example of innovative “low touch” change management. It was also confirmation of how empowering Microsoft cloud technologies really are. When National Bank began its cloud journey with Microsoft 365, a survey revealed most people were content with the existing workplace. Despite their satisfaction with the status quo, employees embraced the new tools because they valued them, not because they were required.

Denis Rousseau, Modern Workplace program leader at National Bank, tells the story:

We had a vision to transform how people work. By giving employees the highly secure tools from Microsoft 365, they have access to any information on any device, from anywhere, so they can work the way they want. To encourage adoption, we treated employees the way we treat our customers, using internal marketing, peer influencers, self-learning, and corporate social media to motivate everyone to download Office apps from our portal.

With no formal directive, in just nine months 80 percent of the company had adopted new tools and were changing how they collaborate. And it only took six months for more than half of our workforce to adopt Microsoft Teams. As we transition into a cloud-first, mobile-first environment, we proved that people can work productively from anywhere with Microsoft 365.

Continuing this digital workplace transformation, National Bank plans to incorporate intelligent search and artificial intelligence (AI) services next. I’m excited to see how National Bank continues to reinvent productivity and agility in the banking industry.

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