Businesses in the facilities management industry have faced unique challenges in recent years to survive and thrive. The unpredictability of the pandemic, combined with shifting demands from clients, required an unprecedented level of agility and resilience from facilities management organisations. Yet it is the workers who have been the heroes. The need for agility and flexibility has been felt hardest by employees, often finding themselves adapting their lives to fit the unpredictability of the role. Research from The Workforce Institute at UKG found that over half of UK (United Kingdom) workers (51%) stated they had been constantly working more hours since the start of the pandemic. As a result, burnout and retention have come into focus.
It is for these reasons, organisations in the facilities management industry must do everything in their power to understand and consider the needs of their employees when planning and deploying resources to meet client contracts and demands.
This is where workforce management and HR technology can be a real game changer. Intelligent automation of people-related processes can improve the employee experience, reducing burnout and attrition. Happier and more engaged employees deliver better customer service and more efficient utilisation of resources means greater cost control and profitability for service providers. In short, everyone wins.
Research shows that organisations are much more likely to perform well financially (88%) when their employees feel heard and have a sense of belonging. In the facilities management sector, where employees work in a wide variety of different environments, staying in constant connection with staff is critically important for driving safety, well-being, and compliance.
Workforce management and HR Service Delivery tools allow employers to share the latest news and information with employees, but also critically allow employees to share information about their health and well-being. A feature called ‘attestation’ in workforce management applications delivers customisable surveys to employees when they clock in or out of their shifts – capturing information such as their health status, how they are feeling, whether they suffered any incidents at work, etc.
The solutions also enable essential company information and announcements to be pushed to employees via their mobile devices, ensuring businesses stay connected with every employee, wherever they happen to work. Being able to stay in touch with employees who do not have a company email address offers a major boost to driving greater trust, respect, and transparency with all colleagues.
The insight gathered through such tools enables managers and the wider business to take the necessary steps to address the issues affecting burnout and retention.
Build High-Quality Schedules
The bottom line is an overworked, unhappy, and disengaged employee is not as productive, not as safe, do they deliver a decent quality service, which will result in them leaving your business sooner.
In a world where we rely on workers to be flexible, organisations need to consider their individual needs – if they want to reduce attrition and burnout.
It is essential to build schedules that align accurately with customer demand, workforce skills, certifications and availability, labour budgets, labour rules and regulations, and employee contracts. Schedules must consider the likelihood of burnout too. For example, consideration should be given to the physical demands of the role, length of shifts, and physicality of the worker. And these schedules must also consider the individual needs and preferences of employees where possible, i.e., where and when an employee can work. No manager can achieve all this using a spreadsheet – and who would want to?
Fortunately, the latest workforce management solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to simplify the processes of forecasting customer demand and building labour schedules that are optimised to balance all factors. At the push of a few buttons, managers can quickly and easily build schedules that reduce burnout, and delight employees, customers, and shareholders.
If you can do this, and make your people feel valued and important, you are giving them a reason to stay and not chase small wage rises.
Empowering Employees to Take Greater Control
‘Flexibility’ is a buzzword we hear often following the pandemic, voiced by both sides of an organisation. Employees are demanding greater autonomy and flexibility and are happy to move employers to get it. Thankfully, empowering employees and giving them greater flexibility can significantly benefit your business too by helping to align resources with demand, and controlling labour costs.
Giving workers self-service access to HR and workforce management tools that empower them to take control not only improves the employee experience but can also reduce the administrative burden on managers, giving them more time to spend with employees and customers.
In addition to recording worked hours and attesting to health and well-being, mobile workforce management apps, enable employees to self-service actions such as booking leave, swapping shifts with colleagues, requesting additional shifts, viewing timecards and balances, viewing payslips, and booking holidays. Using old manual methods, every one of these actions would have previously involved either HR, payroll, or managers, wasting time and money.
The adoption of such empowering HR and workforce management technologies helps employees take greater control of their life and work, helping them to feel more valued productive, engaged, and inspired. As every business knows, happy and engaged employees deliver greater productivity, better customer service, and stay longer with organisations. Therefore, such technology should be a top priority for facilities management organisations of every size.