One of the greatest challenges Facilities Management teams are faced with today is keeping their workforce inspired and engaged. A fully engaged workforce means reduced churn and increased organizational productivity and efficiency. Management teams must develop strategic objectives and clearly communicate goals to each employee. Perhaps the most critical factor in achieving all of the above (yet often the most overlooked) is offering your workforce the tools they need to fully engage themselves in the company’s core business.
One of the most advantageous options for retaining a solid workforce, while improving the overall productivity of your company is to embrace technology and adopt it as an integral part of your workplace culture. This will show your workers, especially the Millennials, that you are committed to innovative processes and solutions and will strengthen the infrastructure of the organization.
“Companies often invest a great deal to engage with and listen to customers, but often fail to do that with their employees – the people who make or break their business every day” -Michelle Glover, ROI Communication
Increase Sharing and Collaboration
When your employees check in to work each day, you want them to get down to business and take full advantage of their time there. Time spent tracking down files or teammates needed to complete a project, equates to frustrations, decreased productivity, and time lost. Eliminate those challenges and you have a more engaged and productive workforce.
Work is no longer simply about sitting in a cubicle and working on individual projects. It’s as much about communication and pooling your resources and ideas in an effort to be the very best in your field. Thus, it is critical that workspace managers offer open spaces and co-operative rooms, paired with tech solutions to support and encourage full participation and collaboration.
Critical to this collaboration is options such as mobile applications and SaaS-based software such as IWMS. Your IWMS merges disparate information into one, functional software solution, offering a higher level of communication and transparency. The end result - an engaged workforce that can watch their goals transform into reality, thereby raising the business productivity of the company.
Employee Performance & Productivity Software
Many businesses have invested in HR software, but are unaware of their system’s full capabilities. Utilize this software to track employee performance and gather information for a productive performance review. HR technology today offers an opportunity for managers to collaborate with employees during the review process, ensure each employee is on track with individual goals, and identify strengths and weaknesses. Armed with this information, workplace managers can better match the skill to the job, redirecting employees to different departments if they feel their business productivity could increase elsewhere.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The emergence of the Internet of Things has brought about a new level of automation to Facilities Management teams. Processes that were once manual are now automated, bringing about increased workplace efficiencies and predictive operations. A recent report published by McKinsey & Company estimates that the IoT:
“Offers a potential economic impact of at least $4 trillion by 2025… based on anticipated impact to operations management, layout optimization, and equipment maintenance, among other factors.” - Naomi Millán, facilitiesnet
Investment in smarter buildings and workspace tools offers management additional data and feedback, regarding customers, employees, and facility equipment, ensuring more control of facility costs and building conditions.
Machine to Machine Communication (M2M)
The evolution of workplace solutions has offered us a higher level of communication; not just amongst staff members, but between equipment, as well. As FMs strive for increased transparency and a steady flow of big data analytics, many are investing in machine to machine communication. Various devices now have the ability to communicate with each other, as well as with the web and business software. Management teams gain immediate access to feedback regarding how, where, and by whom organizational assets are being used, details regarding system breakdowns, and the tools their workforce benefits the most from. These capabilities offer stronger workplace efficiencies which, in turn, generate a more engaged and productive workforce.
Invest in Flexible Workspace Options
According to a recent Global Workplace Analytics study, the number of work-at-home employees has grown by 103% since 2005. As organizations and telecommuters alike realize the immense benefits of working from home, those numbers are predicted to continue to grow exponentially, generating an annual National savings of $700 Billion. Aside from the cost savings, companies are realizing the added value gained from offering their employees the opportunity to work from home through a more engaged and rested workforce which, in turn, leads to increased productivity. Despite the multitude of benefits, many managers are on the fence regarding flexible workspace strategies. In the hyper-competitive business environment managers are faced with today, Facilities Management teams should look to engage their workforce through flexible workspace solutions that attract workers, satisfy their sophisticated needs, and provide incentive to stay long-term.
While telecommuting numbers are on the rise, many companies are still ambivalent about the concept. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, it is critical that you offer employees workplace tools that are mobile, keeping them connected both in and out of the workplace. This flexibility and mobility encourages collaboration amongst colleagues, allowing employees to tap into their full potential. In fact, a Mobile Helix survey of 300 IT decision makers estimated that organizations would see nearly a 40% boost in productivity if key enterprise applications were mobilized.
While mobile devices and apps are a great way to keep your workforce informed and connected, it is not the only option. Utilize technology, such as employee portals and team sites, to keep teammates connected and allow for a steady flow of information. Encourage client/employee and employee/employee communication by offering web business meeting capabilities. Not only does this keep everyone connected, it removes barriers caused by physical location, giving the business a broader customer base.
When your employees feel they are a valued asset and are a part of something special, they can be powerful advocates for the cause, supporting the business both internally and externally. This means investing in your workforce on every level. Offer them the tools and education they need to thrive and you will see the company’s bottom line grow as well. But don’t implement technological tools just for the sake of it. Be strategic. Ask for input from various employees, get to know your workforce on an individual level, and realize that what works for one, might be out of another’s comfort zone. Ultimately, you are approaching each employee as you would each work task, where you assess the specifics, create a successful game plan and customize the solution. Treat the workforce with respect and help them to be successful and they will become an integral, long term part of the team.