By Vince Treadgold, Managing Director Food & Distribution at Servest
FM has drastically changed over the years. The industry has harnessed more respect as it has shifted from an emerging into a well-recognised sector. As such, facilities management is playing a bigger role in the way organisations view the world of work. However, the most evident change concerns the relationship dynamic between service providers and clients. More businesses are now waking up to the idea that their providers are genuine partners. With that realisation comes the mutual understanding that if organisations really want the FM solution to work, they need to be on the same page as their supplier, and vice versa.
There is now the widespread recognition that innovation is only possible when both client and provider work as one. At Servest, we have a presence at more than 7,000 sites across the UK. We’re growing at a phenomenal rate and that is thanks to two things: the quality of our offering and the relationships we are able to cultivate with our clients. For us, people are at the heart of our business, and we believe in relationships and human partnerships to create mutual success. The key to our most successful contracts is the fact that both parties work together as a team. Our mission is to get our people to understand the values and the goals that underpin every relationship, and to get them involved with both sides of the partnership.
The first step in that challenge is getting your employees on-board. Regardless of the business, it’s important to understand people and what matters to them if you’re to get the best out of a workforce. We work with our clients to ensure we listen to everyone who forms a part of that working relationship. By keeping an open dialogue we’re then able to empower people with the tools needed to act, change and innovate. Employee engagement sits at the centre of this focus. If people are engaged in their roles, and if they feel like they are part of the wider team, then they will be liberated when it comes to suggesting ideas that may move the business forward in unexpected yet profitable directions. To that end, we actually run training sessions and learning and development programmes that are open to both sets of employees, both client-side and within the Servest team.
Cultivating a culture of trust and respect is essential to the success of any business. This is even more necessary when a service provider is working on a client site. It’s important to avoid an ‘us and them’ dynamic so we really do focus on the human element with each and every contract we deliver. In order for a partnership to operate with integrity and diligence, the onsite team should jointly seek to foster an entrepreneurial foundation that drives a spirit of innovation and inventiveness. Working proactively together can ensure that both client and service provider is able to respond to the customers’ needs with the adaptability and flexibility necessary to deliver a high quality service.
Servest is often considered as an extension of our clients. We work with our clients – not for our clients – and together, we collaborate, communicate and cooperate on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to ensure the working relationship is as fruitful as it can be. It’s only together that we can pull out all the stops in order to deliver a unified FM solution.