The Facilities Maintenance team are the unsung heroes of most businesses.
They are the quiet super humans, enabling the rest of your staff to deliver what you need. Their efforts are not easy to measure, meaning it’s often hard to see how they impact the bottom line. But remove them from the equation and your business would certainly start to operate a lot less efficiently, in a very short space of time.
To celebrate hard-working FM teams across the country, May 17th 2017 is World FM Day.
As the theme this year is “Enabling Positive Experiences”, we thought we’d take the opportunity to remind you just how integral your FM team are to ensuring that every employee, supplier and customer has a positive experience when interacting with your business.
Our hope is that next time you’re giving Ben in Sales a bonus for exceeding his quarterly targets, or commending Sara in Marketing for her latest innovative digital campaign, take a pause to remember the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure they can both do their jobs, productively and efficiently.
Here’s just three (of the many) ways the FM team enables positive experiences in the work place:
Health and Wellbeing
The FM team keeps bathrooms sanitised, floors mopped, bins emptied and desks tidied – all making your facility a clean and hygienic place to work. This reduces losses through sickness and significantly improves morale. How do you think your employees would react if they came in Monday morning and the bins were overflowing and the toilets were unusable?
But, it doesn’t stop there – there are many, many more things that the FM team do behind-the-scenes to ensure your staff stay safe and healthy, for example:
- Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and water systems – one of the most prolific source of illness and infection, and often the most overlooked, are the filtration systems and ductwork that carries air through your buildings. Moulds, viruses, and more can all manifest inside air-conditioning, heating and water systems if not maintained properly.
- Moisture and humidity – keeping the humidity in your buildings just right is an ongoing battle. Too much moisture allows mould to grow, which will result in the spread of disease, but too little can cause headaches, sore throats and skin infections. The ideal range is 40-60%, but achieving this is a continual process that needs careful management.
- Outside spaces and walkways – it’s easy to overlook your outside spaces when considering employee wellbeing, but whether it’s ice, leaves, rubbish or broken paving, the areas outside your buildings can all pose significant threats to safety.
- Security – your FM team is responsible for providing the necessary security personnel and systems to ensure that anybody who uses your site is kept safe.
From cleaning carpets and windows to changing light bulbs, there are literally hundreds of other ways that your FM team contribute to the health and wellbeing of your staff, and ultimately ensure that your office is a pleasant and germ-free space to work.
Consider the amount of time that is lost when a printer isn’t working, or you experience a power cut. It is the FM team’s job to provide proactive maintenance, so these inevitable interruptions can be avoided as far as possible. Through careful monitoring and systematic maintenance of your building they decrease the need for emergency repairs, which will always have a more significant impact on productivity than planned upkeep.
Here are a few of the ways the FM team contributes to staff productivity:
- Lighting – light is essential in all areas of your building, and being forced to take time out to replace a faulty bulb is an unnecessary waste of time for an employee who should be focusing on managing an account, or producing a new client pitch.
- Roofing – a leaky roof can cost your team hours or even days of productivity if they have to be relocated due to damage or emergency repairs.
- Doors – the impact of something as simple as a door that isn’t working on one side of the building may seem negligible, but if it means that all 250 members of staff are forced to take a 5-minute detour before they can start work, that soon adds up – 20.8 man / woman hours per day to be precise!
- Interiors and carpets – a productive workforce is a happy workforce. If you allow your office to become run down and dilapidated it tells your staff that you don’t care, and if you don’t care, why should your employees? Beyond keeping the carpets clean and desks tidied, replacing carpets, painting walls and providing decorative furnishings all help ensure your staff start each day positively and productively. This then has a positive effect on your company’s culture, which is known to be one of the most significant factors when it comes to happiness amongst staff, which in turn is one of the most important elements when it comes to creating customer satisfaction.
When we consider how FM enables positive experiences in wider society, the easiest place to see the impact is on the environment. More and more, customers, suppliers and employees are demanding improved environmental practices, but we know how hard that can be to balance with the need to be profitable. It is the hard-work and ingenuity of the FM team that makes this possible. They develop and implement environmental best practice, and find innovative and positive ways to encourage staff to support these initiatives. Your CSR programme is probably discussed at most board meetings, and you may even have a portion of your marketing resource dedicated to it, but how often do you involve the people who are actually on the ground making a difference every day?
Here are just some of the ways your FM team will be positively contributing to your environmental targets:
- Using environmentally-friendly cleaning and gardening products
- Employing comprehensive waste management programs
- Controlling lighting and energy usage
- Providing recycled products in bathrooms and offices
- Maintaining and cleaning the HVAC systems
These are just a tiny number of ways that your FM team positively impacts your environmental credentials and helps to reduce your carbon footprint – all things that make the experience that staff, customers and suppliers have with your company, a more positive one.
So on 17th May, take the time to show your FM team your appreciation for the way they make your business more efficient and profitable, for their efforts to protect the environment, and for making you, your staff and customers happy, healthy and safe.
And if you’re an FM Manager yourself, we salute you and the efforts you go to on a daily basis on our behalf. It’s time we think, for the unsung heroes of British business to step out of the shadows……….
Find out more about World FM Day here.