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24 March 2019
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POINTS OF PRIDE

The organisations recognised for their impact were united by a core theme: they inspire pride in their teams. These companies are making a difference in the lives of many, including their staff.

p54-59_Tom-Farrow-from-Sewell-Facilities-Management-with-cleaners-Elliot-Parkin...

09 September 2018 Martin Read and Bradford Keen


Impact on Society

Royal Mencap Society’s societal gain


Elliot Parkinson is a 22-year-old with learning difficulties including Asperger’s and dyspraxia and, a little over a year ago, did not have a job. Now he’s a paid cleaner at Sewell Facilities Management after the FM company collaborated with the Royal Mencap Society, winning it the BIFM Impact on Society Award.


Parkinson says his “confidence has gone from strength to strength” and notes that this good feeling, coupled with a pay cheque, has changed his life considerably.


Sewell Facilities Management has shown its staff how committed it is to improving the lives of those with learning disabilities – a previously overlooked demographic for employment.


Last year’s Impact on Society was won by Recycling Lives, a waste management company committed to rehabilitating offenders through employment as well as redistributing food to deliver surplus food to those in need in order to tackle food poverty.


In 2016, Vinci Facilities won the award for its investment in childhood literacy and the year before that Cofely and North East Lincolnshire Council won for its social and economic outcomes in the local community.


Now Sewell Facilities Management has joined the list of winners committed to helping those in need. 


Parkinson is just one of about 35 people to have benefited through the Abilities in Facilities collaboration, which began in 2017, between Sewell Facilities Management and the Royal Mencap Society’s Humber branch.


Mencap is a tenant in a building owned and operated by Sewell FM, and their programme began after the charity’s locality manager Kerrie White and Sewell FM’s managing director Martin Stead aligned their goals, directly employing people with learning disabilities and training others in good employment practice such as travelling to and from work, punctuality, uniform and presentation.


Sewell FM team members have also gained from the partnership. “It’s largely cleaning teams, so some of them are quite low in self-confidence at the workplace,” Stead says, “so actually taking responsibility for an employee from Mencap has really helped them flourish as well.”


The Sewell FM team underwent training to mimic the sensations felt by people with autism and have helped to bust myths about working with people with learning disabilities and to raise awareness for young people and employers.


While Sewell FM is only regional, Mencap is a national charity and White believes that many FM companies could get involved. “The FM sector, as far as I’m concerned, is pretty much untapped when it comes to giving opportunities and we need to expand that and certainly look at other FM teams out there as to how they could help,” she says.


In the meantime, Sewell FM has a five-year plan to have supported or employed 200 Mencap-nominated people by 2022, building on the 35 in 2018, to 45 in 2020, and 50 by 2021. It also pledges to share the knowledge it has accumulated and promote it wherever it works. No wonder it has earned the reputation as a Sunday Times Best 100 Company to Work For. 

Emma Potter
p54_59_Sewell-staff-taking-part-in-training-to-learn-more-about-life-for-someon...

Best practice learning points from the project 


1. Learning is a two-way street; Sewell Facilities Management staff who worked on the project with Mencap now have a better understanding of people who have a learning disability and their needs.


2. Opening up opportunities to a largely untapped future workforce while enhancing the training and experience of personnel through additional training and experiences.


3. The methods adopted can help the wider FM sector to identify an individual’s needs and tailor communication and support accordingly.


4. By dispelling employers, managers and colleagues’ negative attitudes or low expectations of those with learning disabilities, it paves the way for a more inclusive environment in which people of all abilities and backgrounds can work  as a team.


5. An increased understanding of unfair treatment, discrimination and bullying and harassment in the workplace.

 


It stands to reason that when customer service is prioritised, employees will deliver outstanding service, taking pride in what they offer.


That’s what happened at Hinchingbrooke Treatment Centre, an NHS facility that provides acute services for 160,000 people in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. In a recent survey, customers of the facility rated it as giving 100 per cent satisfaction. 


It’s those kind of statistics that make award-winners. Kier, which has provided TFM for 13 years through a PFI to Prospect Healthcare and North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, has taken home the BIFM award in 2018.


The FM company takes care of mechanical, electrical and building fabric maintenance, reactive work and projects, compliance testing, building management systems, cleaning, portering and basic security. A 24-hour help desk ensures that support is always available.


KPIs are monitored through regular audits of health and safety, statutory compliance, response and rectification times including administration. And Kier hosts monthly performance meetings attended by matrons, ward managers and the outpatients’ sister as well as other stakeholders.


It also carries out an annual customer satisfaction survey. But it takes more than fulfilling KPIs and hosting meetings to motivate the service provider’s teams.


Customer satisfaction can only be won by committed teams that see value in not just the big projects such as energy reduction targets and changing recycling and resource use behaviour, but also in the daily tasks that provide a positive experience for users of a facility.


Reactive estates tasks, for instance, are being met in 99.1 per cent of cases and 99.5 per cent of cleaning reactive tasks meet the response and rectification KPIs.


Cleaning standards measured through daily audits exceed the 92 per cent standard scores from the national specifications, contributing to the unit meeting its targets on infection control.


Last year, 92.5 per cent of the 17,482 portering tasks were completed within the specified timeframe.


Michelle Barron, general manager of Prospect Healthcare, says of a strong working relationship: “It’s down to being honest, having transparency. If there is a problem, we share the problem and come up with a joint solution that not only ensures Kier delivers the service but obviously ensures the patient at the end of the service still gets that great patient experience they require.”


Impact on Customer Experience 

Kier’s continuous improvement scheme is king

p54_59_kier_DSC-0100

It stands to reason that when customer service is prioritised, employees will deliver outstanding service, taking pride in what they offer.


That’s what happened at Hinchingbrooke Treatment Centre, an NHS facility that provides acute services for 160,000 people in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. In a recent survey, customers of the facility rated it as giving 100 per cent satisfaction. 

It’s those kind of statistics that make award-winners. Kier, which has provided TFM for 13 years through a PFI to Prospect Healthcare and North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, has taken home the BIFM award in 2018.

The FM company takes care of mechanical, electrical and building fabric maintenance, reactive work and projects, compliance testing, building management systems, cleaning, portering and basic security. A 24-hour help desk ensures that support is always available.

KPIs are monitored through regular audits of health and safety, statutory compliance, response and rectification times including administration. And Kier hosts monthly performance meetings attended by matrons, ward managers and the outpatients’ sister as well as other stakeholders.

It also carries out an annual customer satisfaction survey. But it takes more than fulfilling KPIs and hosting meetings to motivate the service provider’s teams.

Customer satisfaction can only be won by committed teams that see value in not just the big projects such as energy reduction targets and changing recycling and resource use behaviour, but also in the daily tasks that provide a positive experience for users of a facility.

Reactive estates tasks, for instance, are being met in 99.1 per cent of cases and 99.5 per cent of cleaning reactive tasks meet the response and rectification KPIs.

Cleaning standards measured through daily audits exceed the 92 per cent standard scores from the national specifications, contributing to the unit meeting its targets on infection control.

Last year, 92.5 per cent of the 17,482 portering tasks were completed within the specified timeframe.


Michelle Barron, general manager of Prospect Healthcare, says of a strong working relationship: “It’s down to being honest, having transparency. If there is a problem, we share the problem and come up with a joint solution that not only ensures Kier delivers the service but obviously ensures the patient at the end of the service still gets that great patient experience they require.”

p54-59_kier_DSC-0090

Best practice learning points

1. The trust and Kier have restructured to ensure that the use of the building is fit-for-purpose and created an open and honest relationship.


2. Continuous improvement can sometimes be smaller things that impact end 

users, such as installing vending machines, refurbishing reception and outpatient areas, and providing extra seating.


3. Monthly performance meetings, open to matrons, the ward manager and the outpatients’ sister as well as other key stakeholders, are held to discuss the report and the facilities management service, as communication at all levels is required.


4. Consultation with clinical leads ensured that new flooring and changes to wall colour in the discharge area was carried out with minimal disruption to staff and visitors.


5. An annual customer satisfaction survey allows Kier to follow an ongoing programme to continually improve.


Impact on Organisational Performance 

Newable breaks out of the gloom into the light

p54-59_Newable-Interior-112

Sometimes making staff proud of their employers is as simple as listening to their needs and trying to implement change to satisfy them. 


This is what Newable Limited did and it resulted in a BIFM award. 


With repeated staff complaints about Newable’s old workplaces split across three offices, the company decided to make a change. As CFO Michael Walsh admits: “Our old office was appalling, dark, gloomy, fragmented.” 


So the company acknowledged the feedback and included staff in the design of its new workplace at the 10,000 square foot office at 140 Aldersgate, the Barbican, London.  


“From the very first day we had a cross-functional team with representation across the group because our view was we’re going to make this work,” Walsh explains. “Staff had to really buy into it and be part of the project rather than just impose something from above.” 


But it wasn’t a simple process. “We had a lot of different people with different views,” Walsh says, but staff participation and involvement included them choosing the furniture, carpets and colour scheme. “That was really empowering and empowering our people was what this was all about.”


Newable wanted an activity-based working environment to support and future-proof its business, and improve communications with an open-plan free address working style.


Where We Work provided strategic planning for the relocation from the existing three offices, overseeing logistics, development of the new working space, managing budgets, and procuring services.


It also provided change management services, along with pre and post-move surveys and monitoring, to help Newable adapt to new working methods, which included agile working and an electronic desk and meeting room booking system.


There was also significant investment in technology including a multifunctional identity card that operated printing, room booking, access and egress to the building.


The relocation was also an opportunity to improve the visitor experience and reflect the businesses five core values: Dream Big, Get Going, Grow Together, Always Improve and Pass It On.


The new workplace is a ‘free address’ work model with no allocation of a desk for staff and incorporates modern working methods, such as ‘hotelling’ where staff ‘check in’ to each desk space. Sixty desks were provided for 140 staff with 212 different work settings, including multifunctional spaces with different types of furniture. 


Post-move questionnaires found that staff concentration levels had rallied while disturbances were down. The ability to find a quiet space had increased along with the reported effectiveness of technology, along with a 6 per cent rise in the number of days staff spent in the office. 


For Walsh, the biggest achievement has been a boost to morale. “People were very siloed in the old place and now people from different functions and disciplines mix and sit next to each other and we are seeing the benefits of that.”


Best Practice Learning Points

1. Moving to an open-plan office designed around an ‘activity-based’ and free address work model increased team synergy and interaction and also had a significant impact on collaboration and relationship development.


2. Staff surveys and workshops before and after the move reviewed and measured responses to the new workplace and the impact on staff and the organisation. All levels of staff were involved in choosing furniture, colours and finishes, and a staff competition was used to name meeting rooms and the coffee shop.


3. The new offices have brought existing staff together and attracted new talent while retaining long-standing members of the team. 


4. Significant investment in technology including a multifunctional identity card that operated printing, room booking, access and egress to the building resulted in large increase in staff reporting that office technology was effective.

 

5. Despite concerns about lack of storage space and removal of boxes of files, no one has complained about a lack of personal or departmental storage space.


Impact on Employee Experience

Intu’s intelligent experience programme

Recruiter Awards
Recruiter Awards

Winning company Intu Retail Services knew that to deliver the best customer experience, it needed to provide the best employee experience. The logic, of course, is that engaged employees result in happy customers.


Of its 2,600 staff in the UK, the company employs 2,130 in-house. Geoff Grateley, operations director, says: “We began by bringing everyone into our business just over five years ago and it has allowed us to bring everyone together under a clear set of objectives. We understand exactly how, as individual employees, we relate to those objectives and that what we contribute directly affects the performance of our team, our shopping centre and our business as a whole.”


Intu engages staff through various platforms such as the staff intranet ‘Mint’, presentations, employee magazine Chorus, briefings and consultation forums ‘Your Voice’, as well as regular meetings, social events and fun days.


Then there are also opportunities for personal and professional development with mentorship schemes, innovation initiatives and experimental projects.

 

The company is committed to diversity and inclusivity, with 30 per cent of women in positions at board, senior management or executive levels and 27 different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds in the workforce. The organisation also pays the National Living Wage to all of its employees over 18 who have passed probation.


Other policies Intu has implemented include:

  • Compliance with the Equality Act Gender Pay Gap Information;
  • Ending zero-hour contracts;
  • An apprenticeship scheme (now in its third year);
  • Leadership development schemes;
  • Updated performance appraisal systems; and
  • Regular CSR opportunities for staff and the wider community.

Then there’s the Win Your Dream initiative, now in its fourth year, which recognises and rewards employees for work well done. It has three tiers and staff can earn a monthly, quarterly or annual prize – the last being a dream experience worth £10,000.


One stand-out winner, Wilma from the Braehead branch in Scotland, took her family to Canada after taking the prize for the special care she gave to a customer.


The customer, who had an unfortunate accident in one of the toilets, needed help. Wilma phoned her husband who came to the centre, bought a change of clothes and gave them to Wilma to help the customer leave the facilities “with dignity”, says Grateley.


But it is not just the dream winners who highly rate their employer – 84 per cent of staff say they’re proud to work for Intu, and employee engagement scores reach 750 out of 1,000. Staff turnover has dropped by 18 per cent overall in the past four years, while the FM function in particular went from 36 per cent to 19 per cent of staff leaving in their first year.


Best practice learning points

1. Pay the National  Living Wage.


2. Provide a clear induction policy explaining the brand to all employees.


3. Where possible, bring your team in-house. Of the 2,600 employees, 2,130 are employed in-house. 


4. Provide multiple channels of communication to engage employees.


5. Promote diversity and inclusion by actually employing a team 

that reflects these values.


6. Offer staff monetary rewards and opportunities for personal and professional development.


Impact on Environment

University’s carbon-cutting programme pays off 

Natural-History-Museum-Oxford
Natural History Museum Oxford

Winning company Intu Retail Services knew that to deliver the best customer experience, it needed to provide the best employee experience. The logic, of course, is that engaged employees result in happy customers.


Of its 2,600 staff in the UK, the company employs 2,130 in-house. Geoff Grateley, operations director, says: “We began by bringing everyone into our business just over five years ago and it has allowed us to bring everyone together under a clear set of objectives. We understand exactly how, as individual employees, we relate to those objectives and that what we contribute directly affects the performance of our team, our shopping centre and our business as a whole.”


Intu engages staff through various platforms such as the staff intranet ‘Mint’, presentations, employee magazine Chorus, briefings and consultation forums ‘Your Voice’, as well as regular meetings, social events and fun days.


Then there are also opportunities for personal and professional development with mentorship schemes, innovation initiatives and experimental projects.

 

The company is committed to diversity and inclusivity, with 30 per cent of women in positions at board, senior management or executive levels and 27 different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds in the workforce. The organisation also pays the National Living Wage to all of its employees over 18 who have passed probation.


Other policies Intu has implemented include:

  • Compliance with the Equality Act Gender Pay Gap Information;
  • Ending zero-hour contracts;
  • An apprenticeship scheme (now in its third year);
  • Leadership development schemes;
  • Updated performance appraisal systems; and
  • Regular CSR opportunities for staff and the wider community.

Then there’s the Win Your Dream initiative, now in its fourth year, which recognises and rewards employees for work well done. It has three tiers and staff can earn a monthly, quarterly or annual prize – the last being a dream experience worth £10,000.


One stand-out winner, Wilma from the Braehead branch in Scotland, took her family to Canada after taking the prize for the special care she gave to a customer.


The customer, who had an unfortunate accident in one of the toilets, needed help. Wilma phoned her husband who came to the centre, bought a change of clothes and gave them to Wilma to help the customer leave the facilities “with dignity”, says Grateley.


But it is not just the dream winners who highly rate their employer – 84 per cent of staff say they’re proud to work for Intu, and employee engagement scores reach 750 out of 1,000. Staff turnover has dropped by 18 per cent overall in the past four years, while the FM function in particular went from 36 per cent to 19 per cent of staff leaving in their first year.

Staff Group
Staff Group

Best Practice Learning Points

1. Analysis of what proportion of carbon emissions was coming from what part of the university estate enabled projects to be prioritised and grouped to maximise project costs and efficiencies.


2. A new procurement user group and new service contracts were obtained to upgrade or replace laboratory equipment, which accounted for a large part of carbon emissions.


3. A wide range of activities such as workshops on carbon management, “Switch-Off” campaigns and sustainability awards ensure that the learning and experience achieved through the projects and the programme is continued internally and promoted externally.


4. Access to energy performance data via measures such as workshops and monitoring software have contributed to engagement and behavioural change. 


5. Carbon emissions have reduced annually despite expansion of the university estate, thanks to the programme and its projects.