Home / Features / Leading from the front

Leading from the front

Matt Chapman, CEO at SBFM explains why the soft services supplier is keen to share its blueprint for better communications with front-line workers

Last year, a report commissioned by Legal and General into ‘hidden workers’, in particular cleaners and security staff, revealed disparities in their health and wellbeing compared to white collar staff. It was a similar story in an international survey of cleaners, commissioned by UNI Global Union, which found that working unsocial hours had adverse impacts on physical and mental health.

Given that these workers form the backbone of FM services, the facilities management sector is being urged to acknowledge these issues and work together to make improvements. At the Workplace Futures conference in February it was heartening to hear Matt Chapman, CEO of soft services provider SBFM share ideas on ‘a blueprint for connection’ to these vital workers who he said, are often referred to disparagingly as “just a cleaner”.

Chapman, who has long campaigned for increased diversity and opportunity in the FM sector has applied his considerable passion for people to his CEO role at SBFM, which he joined from Atalian Servest in 2022. Founder, Colin Shute, started the company 10 years ago.

Explains Chapman: “Colin had heard of the things that I’d been saying about the industry for years, and wanted to give me a platform to actually implement all these ideals and ideas that we tend to put in documents and don’t always get around to doing.

“We agreed as a board that we wanted to do something which promotes sustainability in a sector where traditionally there has been too much of a race to the bottom. This is why we steered the ‘SB’ in SBFM towards a Sustainable Business proposition. One that also attracts people to our industry.

“This means we want to price contracts properly and use our technology to help people deliver their jobs and excel in their careers. It is also about creating an inclusive environment where at SBFM, we have even provided options of comfortable workwear that allows colleagues to wear SBFM branded hoodies and T-shirts if they want to, instead of the tradition of formal workwear.”

The changes extend to the company’s business strapline – ‘Reimagining FM for people and places’, and the publication of the SBFM key values, which are, ‘be a good person, play as a team, think differently and make an impact’.

Says Chapman: “Now I’m very pleased to say that everything from the talent we attract, how we appraise our people to how we roll out our technology fits those four key values.”

About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *