Accelerating Service Innovation with Workers Insights – the ISS Corporate Garage Case

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Company Bio


ISS is one of the leading facility management services worldwide. Supporting over 40,000 customers in 30+ countries all around the world, ISS provides cleaning, technical, security and food solutions that contribute to better business performance.


With over 400,000 employees working worldwide, ISS is also the fifth-largest private employer in the world. With such a workforce, even small innovations can generate huge waves.


Because of that, ISS established an autonomous innovation lab called the ISS Corporate Garage in 2016.

As the fifth-largest private employer in the world, keeping employee turnover low is one of ISS's greatest challenges.
After developing a core concept for a new digital tool, Corporate Garage designed a study through Sonar to gauge the initial reactions of its potential users.
Through Sonar, ISS Corporate Garage generated insights that helped validate its core concept quickly.

The Challenge

How do you stay tuned in to the expectations of workers?

ISS Corporate Garage’s goal is to explore new business models and services, bring those innovations back to ISS and distribute the benefits to its customers. As the fifth-largest private employer in the world, ISS has many customers that stand to benefit from the work of the Corporate Garage.

Being such a large organization, keeping employee turnover low is one of ISS’s greatest challenges. Each week, the company onboards 4,000 new hires around the world, incurring important recruitment costs. To make the process of transitioning between jobs more efficient, the Corporate Garage team came up with the concept for WorkID — a digital tool that helps workers store, verify and share documents such as identification, permits, and licenses with their employers.

After developing WorkID’s core concept, Corporate Garage designed a study through Sonar to gauge the initial reactions of its potential users. Within a few days, Sonar helped Corporate Garage recruit 10 study participants, who were all blue-collar workers from Mexico who had previously changed jobs.

The Solution

The Corporate Garage team uses the traditional Google Venture Sprint methodology but often customizes the process to fit their requirements. Getting feedback on their initial ideas and concepts is hugely important, and with the entire power of ISS behind them, they can often find relevant people to share their ideas with. Through internal crowdsourcing, they are able to get feedback from thousands of colleagues all over the world.

However, even with such an abundant network, the process of collecting that feedback is still time-consuming. The team decided to partner with Sonar and see how different methodologies could fit into their sprint processes.


The insights Sonar and ISS’ Corporate Garage produced included workers’ feedback about Work ID. This included what they found concerning and what they considered most valuable. As a result, these insights helped Corporate Garage validate its concept, speeding up the work of the Innovation Team substantially.

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