How One Facility Executive Got a Handle on High Churn

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on January 12, 2016

Historically, facilities managers have tackled issues that were critical to the day-to-day operations of the facility, while maintaining a behind-the-scenes presence. Like most professions, however, the FM’s role has evolved over time, forcing them to take a more visible role within the organization. A dynamic workforce and the progression of technology offers the enterprise boundless opportunities for success, but has added a myriad of new obstacles for FMs to consider.

According to a study performed by Human Capital Management Institute, the total cost of workforce averages nearly 70% of a business’ operating expenses, making it the single largest business expense. And employee turnover costs, on average, 30-50% of an entry-level employee’s salary, 150% for mid-level employees, and upwards of 400% for executives. Among the multitude of challenges facilities teams face today, creating a workspace that empowers and inspires to not only attract but retain the industry’s top talent, remains near the top of the list. As FMs and Executives focus on efficiencies and organizational costs, many have identified a reduced churn rate as a key strategy in reducing the overall budget.

But how do facilities teams tackle such complicated challenges, as the driving forces behind these trials are ever-changing?

For one iOffice customer, the Facilities Executive of a major crude oil and natural gas company, the answer was found through an understanding of his workforce’s needs and utilizing that knowledge to empower them with the right tools.

Harnessing the Power of Technology

Immersed in an industry that changes routinely, our client was in need of a workplace management tool that offered deeper knowledge and analytics regarding the business’ processes, as well as his workforce’s needs. Their business requirements shift regularly, directly affecting the productivity of the workforce. As business needs change, employees and assets move around the building, making it virtually impossible to keep productivity up without the right software support. This resulted in a lack of employee engagement and, in turn, a high churn rate.

Before investing in their IWMS, this global enterprise was utilizing spreadsheets, phone calls, and emails to plan moves and communicate service requests. While their needs were being met, the process was inefficient and costly in both time and productivity. As a result, employees were disconnected and churn rates were high. This Executive looked to us to arm his workforce with the tools to be mobile, while still maintaining productivity and real-time business data.

Faced with an already disengaged workforce, the FM recognized he needed a tool that was user-friendly, could be implemented quickly, and required little training. He needed a software solution that offered a deeper understanding of their workspace and how it was being utilized. What types of workspaces were underutilized and which were most favored? How could they ensure a collaborative work environment while still maintaining individual spaces for those who needed quiet? What strategies could they implement for planning moves of all magnitude, while keeping downtime to a minimum? And how could the fluidity of their service request process be improved? The answer: a 100% SaaS-based software that could be introduced taking a modular approach.

Managing an operation that runs 24/7 requires a lot of manpower and an ironclad strategy. With more than 2,000 employees, each with their own individual work style and needs, the FM team required robust reporting capabilities. Through executive level reporting, the FM was able to gain a deeper understanding of this fluid business. He was able to visualize the big picture and individual snapshots that influence the day-to-day operations. The result: a significant boost in employee engagement and a reduction in churn rate. And he now has the metrics to improve space utilization and organize moves, regardless of the size and scope of the project.

As organizations realize the importance of a satisfied workforce and the impact proper workplace management has on this happiness, the FM profession continues to gain momentum. The facilities manager’s list of duties is expanding at a rapid rate, forcing them to wear many hats on any given day. Without a complete software solution to handle these evolving needs, the FM’s success will suffer. Such breakdowns have a trickle down effect, leaving no one untouched. This Facility Executive’s experience offers valuable insight into how, armed with powerful and capable tools, the possibilities for success are boundless.

Read this global enterprise’s case study to learn more about what modules were implemented to reduce churn and empower their workforce.


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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