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5 things to consider when selecting a new Facility Services provider

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For many, a new year represents new strategies, goals and new Facility Services partnerships. But what factors are important when selecting a new Facility Services provider? Here are the 5 key things you need to look for.

The selection of a new facility service provider is a huge decision for an organisation and its importance cannot be understated. After all, a facility service provider can influence the overall workplace performance, business efficiency, employee well-being, productivity and not least talent attraction and retention.

So how can you make sure that you select the right Facility Services provider for your business? Throughout our more than 100 years of operation within the industry, working with a diverse selection of businesses in a variety of industries, we have learned that there are 5 things that you should always consider during the decision-making process.

 1. The Facility Services provider has a strong transition process in place

Changing service providers, or even outsourcing services for the first time, can be an overwhelming process that entails a certain level of risk. Not only are you giving up control of your business unit to another company, but you are also assuming a potential financial risk. And despite the obviousness of these risks, many transitions fail.

In order to ensure that the business relationship starts off on the right foot, the Facility Services provider needs to be able to showcase a proven-track record of employing facility management contract transition management (CTM).

Successful transitions take time; although the length of time can vary according to the complexity of the contract, a well-planned transition process typically occurs over a four to five-month period.

A Facility Services provider should be able to manage transition expectations and develop a clear risk management plan in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders within your organisation. This type of open dialogue around the potential issues as well as unexpected events is key to ensuring a smooth transition.

Learn more about successful transition and change management: 8 common change management pitfalls you must avoid to succeed with facility management outsourcing

 2. The Facility Services provider is dedicated to employee training and development

Over time, these employees will become integrated into your organisation and play an integral role in your daily operations. After all, these service employees are responsible for making sure that the company’s visitors, partners and customers get the best service experience when visiting your facilities. And in order for these service employees to carry out their tasks successfully, they must have a clear understanding of your business and be trained to act and interact in compliance with what defines your business. For this reason, the training and development of service employees has always been a top priority for the Facility Management customers we have surveyed over the years.

When selecting a new Facility Services provider, make sure to discuss the employee training process and ask for their expertise within the field. To understand, which training processes are most important, read our blog post: The 7 employee training methods to look for when selecting a facility management provider

 3. The Facility Services provider acts on the importance of diversity

According to several studies, workforce diversity plays a central role in an organisation’s success. But what does diversity have to do with the selection of a new Facility Services provider? Well, our studies show that people are more likely to share values, culture and to fit with the other organisation if they match each other on dimensions such as colour, handicap and race. Therefore, a Facility Services provider that values diversity is more likely to match the culture of your organisation than a non-diverse organisation.

Selecting a service provider with a diverse workforce also minimises the overall contract risk. The reason for this is that a diverse workforce generally has lower employee turnover and lower absenteeism, which in turn leads to fewer disruptions in day-to-day service and less risk of failure.

To learn more about the diversity in outsourcing, read our blog post: 3 reasons why diversity is important in outsourcing.

 4. The Facility Service provider offers scalability

Given the rapid shifts that occur in today’s global marketplace, it is essential to have a facility service provider that can scale at an agile pace and efficiently respond to new market changes demands.

If your business is expanding into new markets, or has already established a global presence, entering into a partnership with a Facility Services provider that can scale globally with you is imperative. This helps to create more efficient workflows, drive global cost reductions and provide consistency in service delivery across markets and cultures.

 5. The Facility Service provider serves your purpose

All businesses are different, and what may have worked on a previous contract does not necessarily work for your business. Therefore it is important that you find a Facility Services provider that invests time in understanding the purpose of your business, your workprocesses, the way you manage employees and handle business relationships but not least where you are now and what your vision is for the future.

The Facility Services provider also needs to be flexible enough to continuously adapt service deliveries to the needs of your business and react quickly when changes occur in the marketplace. To quickly respond to changes, the service employees must be trusted and empowered by the employer to take decisions, change processes and innovate whenever a change is needed.

Starting up a new Facility Services contract can be a complicated affair. If you however manage to find a partner that dedicates time to understand your reality, business, goals, visions, your ways of working and is keen to act on the purpose of your business

Want to learn more about, how you can establish successful outsourcing relationship? Download our ISS 2020 Vision White Book: The future of Outsourcing

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Facility Management

Outsourcing Facilities Management? Avoid these 8 change management mistakes

outsourcing Facilities Management? Avoid these Change Management mistakes

Outsourcing facilities management creates many changes and possible disruptions to an organisation. But what are the most common pitfalls you must avoid to make your outsourcing a success?

Today companies go through changes more rapidly than they did 20 years ago. This creates needs for new best practices and processes to effectively manage employees through changes.

In relation to outsourcing, the purpose of a change management programme is to steer a company safely through the project by dealing with the people side of the business. This includes getting involvement, engagement and willingness to embrace the change. This can be achieved through communication, management of emotions and involvement of employees where and whenever possible.

Despite these insights, change management projects related to facility and service management outsourcing sometimes fail. Backed up by research and case studies, here are the eight most common reasons why.

1. Lack of formal change management process

During the last 15 years, change management has evolved into a more proactive and structured approach backed up by best practice processes, accepted terminologies and tools. Despite the development, most change programmes remain poorly planned with lack of formal processes. In many instances, communication and employee involvement can bring you far but when it comes to the actual change management, a programme with no formal process is more likely to fail.

2. Poor integration with project management

Project management and change management are two very distinct disciplines. Even with their differences in approach and execution, they are also interlinked and must be aligned. Research suggests that change and project management programmes are aligned in only 45% of all cases.

To make your change management project a success and avoid the common pitfall of misalignment, it is therefore of high importance that the project manager becomes a member of the change management team and vice versa.

3. Poor support from middle managers

When it comes to employees’ attitude towards change, a majority is concerned with the ”what’s in it for me” perspective. At the same time, studies show that there is a strong correlation between the overall support from middle managers and the level of resistance to change a project.

To prevent a change management programme from failing, it is therefore crucial to gain the support from middle managers right from the beginning of the project and ensure that the middle managers create transparency for the employees and spend time communicating and discussing the effects of change.

In the context of change management, the importance of middle managers and supervisors in the process cannot be overstated.

4. Low priority for change management

If a change management programme is not prioritised within a company, two unfortunate things often happen:

  • Lack of visible sponsorship from the C-level executives
  • Lack of resources made available to carry out the change management programme. Often limited by budget or time.

These two elements are the single biggest reasons why a change management programme fails.

5. No cooperation between customer and service provider

The level of overall satisfaction with the contract depends largely on the level of cooperation between the customer and the service provider. Poor cooperation between these two parties often leads to poor communication, mismanaged transition and high employee turnover in the outsourced business unit.

The seeds of poor cooperation can often be traced back to the RFP stage. Many RFP’s are counterproductive to a change management programme. During our research, we found many examples where the support functions from the customer organisation showed a visible lack of interest and priority given to the outsourced unit long before the handover. This resulted in a high employee turnover in the business unit and dissatisfaction from both the customer and service provider.

6. Change saturation

Many companies often find themselves in the state of change. At the same time – most of us have a saturation limit. Above this limit change becomes problematic. The change management team must try to assess the change saturation level in the organisation before the project gets under way. On the basis of this assessment, the team can adjust its activities accordingly. If the saturation level is too high, the team should even consider delaying the facility and service management outsourcing.  The saturation level can be assessed by monitoring employee turnover rates, absenteeism, productivity levels, employee engagement levels, lack of inter-departmental cooperation and silo thinking as well as a general low level of trust in management.

7. Poor transition between the two companies

Our interviews identified several examples where the customer – especially the HR department – lost all interest in the outsourced employees several months before the official handover. This left the employees very dissatisfied, not knowing which organisation they belong to and feeling unwanted. Transition management is an important element of change management and if let out, it can negatively impact the entire change management effort.

8. Resistance from employees

Many of the common pitfalls listed above are likely to lead to resistance from the employees. For example, if the middle managers are not on board then neither will the employees be. If the organisation has gone through too many changes in a short period of time, then this may lead to resistance. Resistance is consistently cited as the single most important reason why change efforts fail and yet few change programmes use specific resistance management tools and processes to identify and manage resistance. Special effort should be put into managing resistance proactively instead of hoping that resistance will not occur.

Want to learn more about how to make your facility or service management outsourcing a success? Download our White Book research by clicking the button below.

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People Management

Why employees aren’t engaged at work and what you can do about it

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The world is currently experiencing an employee engagement crisis and recent data suggests that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. But why are employees not engaged and what can facility managers do about it?

Everybody talks about employee engagement and the advantages it holds for organisations. Also our own research confirms that employee engagement positively impacts the company bottom line and drives higher customer satisfaction.

So why is it not working? And why aren’t employees engaged at work?

Their strengths do not shine through in their jobs

As human beings we thrive when we get the chance to do what we love doing. Something that stimulates us mentally and something we find interesting.

If these factors aren’t present within the work environment, then our job is simply not that exciting to wake up to in the morning.

A Gallup study shows that employees who use their strengths every day at work are six times more likely to be engaged than those who do not. Furthermore, 71% of your employees are disengaged when a leader or managers focuses on what they have not done well.

Tip 1: Focus on employee strengths

The Gallup study also showed that when managers are focused on employee strengths, 61% of workers are engaged and only 1% experience themselves as disengaged.

Even though employee weaknesses shouldn’t be ignored, it is important to strengthen the focus on what employees do well at work and develop the individuals in the context of their natural talents at a level where they feel that their contribution matters and makes a difference in the workplace.

They do not feel their work is important and valued

There is nothing more disengaging than feeling that the work you do, as an employee, isn’t prioritized, valued or important.

If employees lose their work purpose and aren’t aware how their contribution makes a difference for the broader company – then it is a lost call.

On the other hand, research keeps on proving that employees who see a clear connection between the work they do and a positive outcome feel very engaged.

Tip 2: Be an inclusive manager

Focus on inclusiveness in your leadership! This will improve your employees’ belief in the importance of their work and give them a clear purpose.

Make sure to give your employees feedback on a regular basis and let them know exactly where their personalities shine through and make a difference for the organisation as a whole.

They have lost the track of company purpose, vision and goals

There is nothing more important for employees than having a purpose with whatever they do in life. This also means that there is nothing more disengaging and demotivating that losing track of the company purpose, vision and goals.

Tip 3: Create a clarity of company purpose, vision and goals

For employees to be engaged in their work, they must believe in the company purpose, vision and goals. The management must excel in continuously bringing these factors into play.

On an individual level, studies show that if managers help employees to set performance goals, employee engagement reaches an incredible 69%. If managers do not help employees with setting these goals, 53% will consider themselves to be disengaged at work.

To make your employees engaged at work, setting clear goals, expectations and continuously reinforcing the company purpose and why we are doing what we are doing will undoubtedly make a happier workforce.

Learn more about how you can support your employees and the new ways of working. Download our ISS 2020 Vision White Book: New Ways of Working – The workplace of the future. Simply click the button below.

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Workplace Management

How new technologies will impact our workplaces towards 2020

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With good reason, respondents of the ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working survey, see technology development as the most important megatrend influencing the workplace towards 2020. But how will new technologies impact our workplaces in the years ahead of us?  

Frequent market demand shifts require organizational flexibility

As markets shift with higher frequencies, companies will increasingly rely on technology to adapt to new demands. Consequently, workplaces will become more agile – and the typical workplace will no longer be typical. To remain competitive or regain a sustainable competitive advantage, more companies will try to integrate all their data sources to build more efficient business intelligence systems.

Towards 2020 increased flexibility will simultaneously be expected from the employees, and they will be productive no matter if they are home, at their desks or on the road.

How to best manage new workplace technologies?

Join the ISS Business Forum and get the best practices

We’re live on the 14th of November 14th at 3-5pm CET

With its combination of mobile computing devices, high-speed wireless connectivity and various applications, ubiquitous mobility will complement this development and remove many of the prevalent frustrations working remotely, including slow connections, and dropped video and teleconferencing connections.

As the office experience gradually will become more about a network of people and places, and less about one or two central locations – the focus will be on developing standardized, seamless experience of organizations.  

Cloud technologies will enable greater interoperability

Just as businesses needed to evolve by the introduction of the PC or the internet, the cloud represents another decade defining shift of evolution.

Towards 2020, cloud technologies will break down barriers within and among organizations by leveraging internet – based services that can be accessed from any device, anywhere.

This will give rise to new business models and ways of managing IT that are more asset-light, highly mobile and flexible. Companies are especially attracted by cloud computing’s ability to, among others:

  • Cut ICT – related labor costs by as much as 50%
  • Allow access to information anytime, anywhere and from any device
  • Provide companies much better management and control over their data
  • Ease collaboration internally and externally by getting back-end integration issues
  • Improve efficiency by removing power costs
  • Enabling greater interoperability and transparency

Data intelligence will be critical to grow competitiveness

A GE & Accenture study reveals that there is a growing urgency for organizations to embrace big data analytics to advance their business strategy.

Yet, less than one-third (29 percent) of the executives surveyed, across eight industrial sectors,  are using big data across their company for analytics or to optimize their business.

This will however change in the future.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of the survey participants believe they could lose their marketing position in the next one to three years if they do not start to adopt big data within their organisations.

Therefore, 88 percent of the executives surveyed state that big data analytics are and increasingly will be a top priority for their company to increase and retain their competitive advantage in the future.

Towards 2020, it will be critical for Facility and Corporate Real Estate Managers to resolve, how right data can be identified, collected and actionable decision-ready analysis developed.

Have you signed up for the ISS Business Forum yet? On November 14th we will discuss Smart Buildings and Workplace Technologies.

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