The most successful building service contractors know that their frontline workers are a valuable resource to take care of.
Building service contractors and their teams do so much to keep their facilities clean and maintained. And much of this work goes unnoticed, in part because the nature of the work is to keep things functioning. For example, your building occupants don’t notice that all the light bulbs are working or that the carpets are clean. Yet, without your team, this wouldn’t be true.
While it’s easy to overlook the work your team does, it can also be easy to overlook the people who do the work. That’s no one’s fault. Your team is working at night or early in the morning. They’re quietly fixing a leaky faucet during lunch or scrubbing stains from a fabric couch. However, that means it’s your responsibility as a supervisor or manager to help those frontline workers.
What does that mean? Taking care of your frontline team means making sure they’re safe, they have the tools they need to do their job, and they’re taken care of. Here are some ways you can make that happen.
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The 9 Things Building Service Contractors Can Do to Take Care of Their Frontline Workers
1. Ensure they have a safe environment. This could mean several things, but right now, let’s focus on the actual working environment and atmosphere. Are your workers in a place where they feel safe and secure? Can they do their jobs without harassment or interference? As much as we would like to think everyone is polite and kind in every place we work, we also know that’s not always true. It’s up to you to set the expectations and keep your team safe.
2. Ensure they have the supplies to do their job. This is mainly about organization. Is the supply closet tidy? Is it easy to find tools and equipment? Is that equipment in good working order? Do they have the cleaning solutions, mop heads, microfiber cloths, and whatever else they need to get the job done? It can be frustrating to show up for work only to find that you don’t have the means to do your job.
3. Supply appropriate and fresh PPE. Whether it’s gloves or complete coverage, including shoe covers and eye protection, building service contractors can help their frontline workers by giving them the protective equipment they need to complete their work safely.
4. Pay attention to your schedule. We all know that working short-staffed happens sometimes. People call out sick, or an emergency comes up. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about that. But scheduling around things like days off, vacations, and other expected absences is something you have some influence over. Even if you can’t cover the gap, there might be other changes you can make, such as prioritizing certain tasks or pushing back larger projects.
5. Adhere to OSHA guidelines. OSHA guidelines are an excellent source of safety protocols, particularly, if your team is working with hazardous materials or solutions. These guidelines can do a lot to keep everyone safe.
6. Model good communication. If you communicate clearly and openly, your team will feel more comfortable doing the same. This can be especially important in dealing with safety or job quality issues.
7. Manage workloads effectively. Don’t fall into the trap of giving your best workers the most challenging jobs. That’s a sure path to burnout. Similarly, don’t give all the menial tasks to the least skilled people on your team. Instead, spread the work out, ensuring that everyone has enough to keep them busy, but not overwhelmed or overworked. Mix things up if you can, so people can try new things or at least move around a bit to different tasks.
8. Train, train, train. This is one way to help manage workloads, and it also helps building service contractors who may need to move people to different locations. The more fully-trained people you have on your team, the more flexibility you have in scheduling, workloading, and giving people a chance to advance.
9. Be easy to work for. In a world that moves quickly, it can be easy to think in terms of numbers and efficiency. Certainly, those are important aspects of running a business and managing a team. But don’t forget that your team is a group of people who just want to do their job and enjoy being at work. And a large part of that is about the approach you take to management.
As a building service contractor, your team looks to you for guidance and to create an atmosphere that helps everyone succeed. These tips can help you, help them.
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