‘Honesty is the Best Policy’ was a case well proven by Suman Dhoiphode when she returned diamond rings worth lakhs to their rightful owners last year. Our team members stationed at the prestigious Mumbai International Airport Terminal T2 have given us another reason, again, to be proud.
On a busy Wednesday afternoon, it was an atmosphere with a comfortable blend of discipline and enthusiasm, the kind healthy diversity introduces to a workplace. The office seats industry veterans from our facility management and project management businesses, in addition to young graduates working with Mr. Homecare and Hammer and Mop (our home services divisions). This allows a breath of fresh air.
The pantry at SILA‘s Mumbai headquarters was empty, that afternoon, and all assistants were out tending to the folks having lunch. One of the senior executives walked in to grab a quick coffee when the shrill ring of the phone shattered the silence.
The communication and operations gaps in a people intensive business are understood by industry veterans. Before technology was as cheap and easy to implement as it is now, certain mishaps were taken to be a part of the business and the margin was calculated keeping these gaps in mind. We live in fortunate times, and organizations have the opportunity of boosting their efficiency in ways never before imagined. As discussed in this post, technology has the potential to play an important role in the facility management business.
Helping People Win
Building a successful workplace involves ensuring that the employees are taken care of, and have been offered a work profile that they care about. Based on the Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, employees can be approached and a conversation can be sought on their individual growth paths. Concerns can be addressed and morale can be boosted. This exercise is easily doable in an office environment. This exercise gets difficult to implement on an isolated facility management site, where regular communication cannot be sought.
Facility Management businesses form a part of the service sector, and it is plagued with issues for the human resources teams to manage. Organizations have huge diversity across employees, owing to the geographical, nature of isolated sites and lack of competencies which allow communication gaps to be bridged.
Apart from the operations issues concerning attendance and payroll, all information transfer relies on traditional and human dependent methods of phone calls, post and email. These channels are controlled by humans of varied skill sets, and the results are not consistent. The delay in communicating information that is perceived to be at different levels of priority by different departments affects the bottom line.
There is a growing acceptance in the real estate services sector in the culture change being brought about across the world. The relationship between an employee and an employer is evolving and transcending levels, as the work life balance thins. It is an integral relationship which has never been as delicate, yet never been as strong before.
An Opportunity to Boost Productivity
This is an opportunity organizations in the real estate services sector should capitalize on. The work we have chosen to do is not easy, and ensuring that employees stay motivated is a task. Customer satisfaction depends greatly on the human capital being invested in, and it has the risk to be a vicious cycle.
Though this may not be exclusive for the facility management sector in India, a Gallup study highlights how employees who make the most of their strengths in their workplace, are six times more likely to be engaged than their colleagues who seem to be lost on this crucial alignment. Positive Reinforcement helps, and studies show that 71% of the employees lose interest when their superiors focus on the weaknesses instead of their strengths.
This ought to be obvious, when we consider human nature. We are not brought to be good at everything we do. Being individuals, our tastes are distinct, and something we have been taught to appreciate. It is a matter of pride to display what we are good at, and that helps us choose a profession.
As the world becomes increasingly connected, it offers organizations in the facility management sector an opportunity to engage with an employee at an enhanced level. Today’s teams seek job fulfillment and are keen to work for organizations which are known for their employee friendly policies. Culture eats strategy for breakfast, and it is never too late to take the right steps in building a beneficial environment for your employees.
As we discussed in this post, work culture offers a distinct competitive edge to a facility management company, especially in existing market conditions. Spending on freebies and sops is often the easy way out, and the yield might be temporary.