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17 January 2019
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ThinkFM 2015: Putting brand first

Sean Jones, head of property and facilities management (corporate), Three
Sean Jones, head of property and facilities management (corporate), Three

4 June 2015 | FM World team

Sean Jones, head of property and facilities management (corporate), Three 

Storyville: Every day wonderful

12.00pm - 12.40pm

The story of mobile operator Three’s strategy to create a positive connection between its employees and their working environment is one about the telling of stories.

Jones used the ‘powerful emotional connection’ of storytelling to build on the relationships between Three and its staff. A key element of this was to build a ‘brand with a purpose’.

“Strong brand purposes don’t talk about products, but the reason that we exist beyond making money. 

Brands that stand out from the crowd always start out with the ‘why?’ - why are we doing what we do? What’s our purpose? But, said Jones, “perhaps we in FM can sometimes get that back to front. We think first about the ‘what’ - the maintenance, cleaning, security etc., then the how – IFM, TFM, outsourced, single-source service, etc. – but when do we ever ask why?

Jones and his FM team’s ongoing communications with the workforce throughout the transformation project for Three’s Glasgow contact centre for customer services has resulted in an increased employee engagement score that shot up from 42 per cent to more than 90 per cent.

“Through every channel we could, we communicated to staff what was going on.”

It’s easy to lose sight of how important this. Once organisations start on the delivery mode of a fit-out project, it’s all too easy to go into a bubble and stop talking to the people that really matter - those set to work in the space.

Jones painted FM in the UK as being in a position to be ‘world-leading’, emphasising a workplace focus on people as much as property. In Three’s case, its newly engaged workforce has attracted new employees to the firm.

Three’s Glasgow office has multi-use and separate working and relaxation areas. The result is a workforce with a ‘sense of ownership’ about the brand.

“I’ve heard people say that it ‘feels like Three’, and rhat means a lot to us,” said Jones. 


  • FM teams are key stakeholders in employee engagement;
  • Inspiring people and making them proud to work at the organisation is a key factor in engagement; and
  • Brands with a purpose have more loyal customers