[Skip to content]

FM World logo
Text Size: A A A


Celebrating stand-out products, services and relationships that help to improve processes, including service delivery, as well as assisting with challenges facing the profession.


Related articles

Read: IWFM Awards 2019: Impact here 

Read: IWFM Awards 2019: People here 

04 November 2019 Facilitate Team

People Development and Empowerment


E.ON UK wanted a service provider that could integrate 10 separate service lines and would be a true partner, uniting facilities employees at all of its sites. The underlying belief: engaged and empowered people deliver better service. 

So Interserve created the Engage programme for staff at E.ON UK’s 14 core locations and regional operational sites. A total of 320 employees TUPE transferred to Interserve from five previous providers and existing E.ON UK employees. The challenge Interserve faced was to make employees feel like an integral part of the bigger entity, working from the same set of values, operations and communications models, and safety culture.


  • Engage magazine: A quarterly publication from Interserve for all employees on the account and key E.ON UK stakeholders to share news, promote Interserve’s way of working and make compliance fun.
  • Question Mark: At the beginning of monthly meetings and regular team catch-ups, employees devote time to discussing pertinent safety questions.
  • Gamification: Interserve created a PowerPoint-based game with videos, graphics and hyperlinks to explore the environment, PPE and good housekeeping. 
  • Staff-made videos: To make learning more relevant.
  • Skills and development: 53 people have enrolled in upskilling apprenticeships and two are undertaking full catering apprenticeships.
  • Building a one-team approach: Increased employee opportunities for redeployment or promotion, including a member of the cleaning team moving to a front-of-house role.
  • Safety observations: Interserve set a target of 1,381 safety observations across all sites and recorded 3,587 observations – 260 per cent of its target. The account has had more thans 400 RIDDOR-free working days across all sites.

What the judges said:

“This was a mammoth undertaking. The team was very tuned in to the task at hand and all bought into the key objective.”

Best practice

1. Interserve’s strategy for responding to these challenges is built around four core principles: Senior leadership matters – lead from the top with senior team members visible from day one.

2. Communication is key – create a shared identity and deliver important messages.

3. Make people part of the process – employees should own the Engage programme and feed into it. It shouldn’t be happening to them.

4. Make it fun and easy to understand – with a range of employees from different backgrounds, including colleagues who didn’t speak English as a first language, Engage had to be easy to understand for it to succeed. 

Supplier Relationships

Direct Line Group Property Team, Mainstay Group and Ascot Services 

Direct Line Group Property Team, Mainstay Group and Ascot Services
Direct Line Group Property Team, Mainstay Group and Ascot Services

The Direct Line Group (DLG) Property Team realigned the way it works with FM service provider partners. It chose smaller FM firms Mainstay Group (soft services) and Ascot Services (hard services) and set the challenge of finding the perfect FM team.

Important points include:

  • Own the problem until it is resolved;
  • Honesty matters and pointing out an issue requires collective solutions;
  • Success or failure happens together;
  • Transparency and trust are essential;
  • Contract reporting focuses on what is going to happen; and
  •  Reducing energy consumption through energy use data, utilisation data and BEMS systems.

Methodologies include:

  • Shared access to CAFM, open jobs, quotes, CAD, and project plans;
  • Measurement of information, its value and contribution;
  • Creating bespoke processes such as a CAFM system in collaboration with supply partners;
  • Using DLG’s BEMS to remotely access systems from within its energy centre and monitor preset alarms in line with agreed SLAs; and
  • Employing the IRISYS heat mapping system to assess occupancy levels and timings, as well as live building user data to adjust HVAC strategies. 


Site ownership has improved through a shared vision and improved collaboration. The concierge-style front-of-house team that triages calls to completion with site-based colleagues has grown. There’s more time to focus on priority areas such as becoming plastic-free, CSR activities, innovating the workplace through heat-mapping sensors for cleaning regimes, and cutting energy use.

Perhaps most telling is  the DLG Property Team’s approach to the client-supplier relationship is being used by the procurement team for brokering future supplier contracts.

What the judges said:

“Hope this model is something that others can look at and we can then truly transform FM delivery.”

Best practice

1. Shift from working with big-name providers to partnering with dynamic and enthusiastic SMEs.

2. Integration of the DLG Property Services Team within the broader DLG business to be a strategic function to achieve business goals.

3. A weekly call between the three partners of the team to discuss challenges and recognise successes of the previous week – it also means less email traffic and fewer additional calls.

4. Creation of a central service desk that operates day and night all year round.

Products and processes

OCS Group UK

OCS Group UK
OCS Group UK

The IMPACT Training Programme, launched in May 2018, provides clear career progress for cleaning colleagues to take them from frontline staff to cleaning coach and beyond through on-the-job training such as NVQ, BICSc and formal training such as the OCS Skills Matrix, online learning and apprenticeships.

IMPACT training is cascaded down from contract director (IMPACT owner) and site managers/cleaning managers (coaches) who are trained by OCS’s centralised learning and development (L&D) team, to team leaders/supervisors (trainers) and cleaning operatives.


All cleaning staff undergo the process and OCS says it has a happier, more consistently trained and more empowered cleaning staff. To date, at a cost of about £27,000, the central learning and development team has conducted 28 IMPACT coach sessions accrediting 199 IMPACT coaches. Those IMPACT coaches have gone on to accredit 147 trainers, and the trainers have trained and accredited 451 frontline cleaning operatives in the new IMPACT standards.

Overall, 100 per cent of OCS’s cleaning staff are involved in the programme, with 44 per cent having completed the programme. The rest will complete the programme by the end of the year.

Best practice

1. Catering to several languages, initially using English with many illustrations and now providing 32 languages on OCS’s E-learning portal, along with training videos.

2. All cleaning staff participate so they can feel empowered.

3. IMPACT includes a module on the environment that involves understanding how to reduce your impact on the environment – for example, reducing water and the amount of product used, and turning off lights after cleaning.

Technology and Systems

WhiffAway Group 

Tech WhiffAway

WhiffAway’s waterless urinal technology system reduces water use, saves cost – through reduced maintenance – can be retrofitted and prevents blockages.

Annually, a standard flushing urinal wastes 157,000 litres of potable water, which equates to £395 per urinal. In developed countries, 18 per cent of total water consumption comes from flushing urinals.

Plus, waterless technology means that blockages – mostly caused by a build-up of uric acid, salts and limescale, which create a biofilm on the urinal waste trap, drain and pipework – are reduced. 


From data collected between 2015 and 2018, the waterless urinal technology has saved clients around 750 million cubic metres of water – 300,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of drinking water – and £1.9 billion and 14.7 million kilos in carbon. Plus, the system is non-hazardous and all cleaning materials are environmentally friendly. 

While the system can be retrofitted, new builds can save around 30 per cent on project costs by not having to plumb in cold feeds.

The main benefits are:

  •  Saving customers in excess of 350 litres per second; 
  •  Lower carbon footprint;
  •  Reduced operational costs;
  •  Better perception of the washroom.

With a focus on the future, WhiffAway has also developed and installed what it claims to be “the world’s first fully connected smart washroom technology”. The turnkey solution uses IoT-enabled sensors to collect data and provide an interactive 3D washroom platform. Sensor applications include usage sensors to determine use and ‘end-of-life’, wipe sensors to monitor urinal cleaning patterns, tap sensors to identify temperature and stagnant water conditions for Legionella control, air quality sensors to monitor relative humidity, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), proven commercial, environmental and operational C02 and temperature, and waste pipe sensors to determine maintenance patterns.

What the judges said:

“It not only addresses a real issue for FM, it has enormous potential impact on sustainability.”

Best practice

1. Smart washrooms can allocate resources through real-time data analysis for routine maintenance and identifying problems before they occur.

2. Smart washrooms can help to identify patterns so consumables can be replenished to keep customers satisfied.