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An ever-increasing emphasis on employee wellbeing means ever-higher standards for the facilities within which they operate. It’s no longer enough to meet a basic safety standard. Employee happiness is tied to better performance, better retention, and higher outputs, and therefore has become a top priority for management.
As facilities managers, we are at the forefront of improving workplaces, which has a huge role in this high-priority realm.
A happy employee is up to 31% more productive, three times more creative, and 10x more engaged. Better job satisfaction, and positive feelings about their work and workplace, can lead to not only more productive employees, but better employee retention.
Conversely, the cost of dissatisfaction is extremely high, with Forbes reporting that on average, the cost of disengagement equates to approximately 34% of an employee’s annual salary.
Previously drab workspaces have transformed from flat to fabulous in the pursuit of employee happiness. As such, amenities like end-of-trip facilities, gyms and kitchens are now commonplace in workplaces.
And of course, the growing pressures of this have been felt by the facilities managers.
Not only do these additional amenities need to be generally maintained, but they often come with a large volume of reactive maintenance activities; triggered by human behaviour.
While you can’t completely prevent downtime of these amenities, you can give employees a way to report maintenance requirements as they emerge.
In many cases, a large volume of reactive maintenance cases can’t really be avoided, being caused predominantly by human activity.
There is now an expectation from employees that these amenities will be available, and often a disruption in those amenities can affect an employees wellbeing both physically and mentally.
However, as we know, a planned maintenance schedule can help to reduce the risk of assets failing prematurely. Engaging in planned maintenance minimises unexpected downtime of assets. This means that your planned maintenance can reduce the risk of employee dissatisfaction by keeping their much-loved amenities up and running consistently.
When it comes to amenities used by multiple people, even the best laid plans can sometimes go to waste, and reactive maintenance issues will need to be dealt with promptly and efficiently.
Communication, as a two-way street, between yourself and the facility users is imperative in maintaining employee happiness.
From the employee’s perspective, they’re concerned with ensuring the issue they’ve raised is moving towards resolution.
The problem here is twofold.
Firstly, they don’t know that a number of their colleagues may have noticed that same issue, and are all reporting it to you, as the facilities manager. Leaving you to deal with multiple emails or phone calls, all referencing the same issue.
Secondly, these amenities contributing to their happiness are things that these employees emphatically care about. And when people care about something, they check on it, which results in you being asked constantly for updates on various work orders.
Two way communication is vital to ensuring efficient management of facilities. However, even in isolation, they can quickly suck your time into a vortex of administrative tasks, rather than practical ones.
Allowing employees to view work orders and their status within a centralised system can help to reduce duplicate requests. For staff who may not necessarily think to check for a status update, you can send out automated status updates when a work order is actioned.
By ensuring you have a comprehensive planned maintenance schedule, and are able to respond quickly to reactive maintenance requests, communicating to manage the expectations of facility users; you’re now playing a pivotal role in employee happiness.
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