Page 20

Facilities Management Journal March 2017

THE FACILITIES SERVICES PROVIDER'S VIEW TIM HANCOCK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, O&G As a service provider, an FM’s objective is to provide the critical support services that our clients can’t or should not be concerned with. What we do frees them to focus on core business, their end users, their own vision and values. But that means what we do must also help make them and their people more eff ective. How you define that is the problem. Is eff ectiveness about eff iciency? If it is, how do you define that? Is it about saving money or doing about things right, aligned to an organisations vision, values and long term objectives. Or is it about productivity? The ‘p’ word (as says, Simon Heath one of the other pundits responding) is almost impossible to pin down. The OECD argues: Productivity is commonly defined as a ratio of a volume measure of output to a volume measure of input use i.e. doing more for less. What does this mean in practice? Take the example of a call centre. The clients might seek a measure on improvement to call waiting times and processing more calls. Hence if staff are fielding more calls it implies productivity has risen. However, what if they are simply picking the phone up and hanging up without saying anything? These actions might well make staff feel better, it might well mean more calls are processed but it is not aff ecting productivity positively and nor is it being eff ective. A nicer environment (however it is arrived at) does make people feel better. Natural light, well selected planting, 20 MARCH 2017 collaborative and shared spaces (yes, I’d advocate open plan working where appropriate for most organisations) all enable people to be happier, content and therefore more productive. But how do we know for sure? The research and data says so, but how reliable are they? The only obvious option is an online employee satisfaction survey. They are not ideal, oft en very subjective and open to misinterpretation. Also, its actual impact on productivity is questionable. Online questionnaires risk confusing eff ectiveness with productivity. Indeed, just because someone feels good, doesn’t always mean there is a direct link to productivity and therefore to someone being more eff ective. Fixed measures can be misleading. Hence the best way is a combination of surveys, fixed tests and talking to the staff themselves. So, probably the best way to truly get close to an accurate measure of productivity is to use collective or group intelligence and simply ask questions on how staff feel before and then post any project or change with regards to their own personal productivity. This is all well and good and generates some useful data. But, it only goes so far. An organisations culture is the real test for its productivity. You can’t measure an atmosphere in a workspace, but you can sense if that place is functional, happy and productive. There’s a gut feel that as a senior manager you know to be true, albeit it might change from one day to another. The truest test is if an individual reaching the end of their planned job schedule at 3.30pm on a Friday volunteers to take on another job. That willingness is the best measure of productivity and that is derived from an excellent culture. There’s no data available to explain that gut loyalty to colleagues and an organisation. Do you have a question that you’d like answered by the FMJ Clinic? Email: sara.bean@kpmmedia.co.uk FM CLINIC Tim Hancock ADVICE & OPINION


Facilities Management Journal March 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above