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8 Steps for Restructuring a Facilities Management Department

Posted in: Facilities Management

While we’ve already answered the question “Why should a company outsource their facilities management?” we realise that just as many businesses have their own internal facilities management or maintenance departments.

Amongst our clients across the UK, we both manage the entire facilities management function for a business and work with existing FM departments. Rather than replacing an in-house department, we work in tandem with them as an extension to the team, providing help and support.

FM Knowledge & Expertise

The team at TPG are more than aware of the stresses and strains that these internal departments face. Our Director, Andy Harvie, managed his own team before founding TPG in 2012.

Using his knowledge and experience, we’ve asked Andy to look at how managers of FM, maintenance, property and estates departments can restructure their processes to make them more efficient and effective.

When is it the right time to restructure an FM department?

Is it the right time to restructure your facilities management department

Whilst running and managing in-house teams responsible for new property development, maintenance and facilities management, there were a number of occasions when I was tasked with making changes or delivering savings.

There were a number of ways I could achieve this, ranging from looking at the supply chain and retendering services to restructuring the team, which might include outsourcing services or training and development.

There’s no hard and fast answer to the above question, especially since there are a lot of HR issues which relate to making decisions like these, not least of which is the need to keep operational costs to a minimum.

As a result, this blog will only really touch the surface of this subject. And there’s probably a more important question that needs to be answered first.

Why should you consider restructuring a facilities management department?

By their very nature, businesses need to increase turnover and maintain margins in order to survive and flourish. Combine this with the fact that public sector organisations are increasingly looking for bundled services and it’s clear that evolution and change are key to any company’s success.

Evolution and change are key to any company’s success.

In particular, businesses operating across multiple operations and properties are being faced with significant change in terms of relocations, closures, extensions, rebranding, lease renewals, lease re-gears and new development sites.

It is fair to say that the real estate and facilities management sector has been and still is rapidly changing for multi-site property occupiers.

In order to achieve growth, organisations need an ever-changing and continuously-improving property and facilities department that can evolve with the business.

For this reason, more companies are looking to either outsource facilities management and/or restructure these departments.

Since we’ve already looked at outsourcing FM, here are some of our views on how to restructure the internal department.

How do you manage this change?

The best way to manage transformational change within an organisation is through evolution and adaptation

By far the best way to manage any kind of transformational change within an organisation is through evolution and adaptation.

Change by evolution is a subtler form of transformation that produces a cultural shift with long-lasting results for a business.

However, this can sometimes be difficult in a sector where infrastructure may not be altered for long periods of time and staff tend to stay with the same organisation for up to 20 years.

This can mean that the reaction to change will sometimes be, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

For this reason, managing change when it comes to restructuring an FM department can be hard work.

The road to change

The road to change

While a long-term strategy of incremental change may seem like a time-consuming exercise, this style of change management will potentially make the whole process a lot less onerous for both managers and staff.

People find consistency comforting and a large part of any change management is gradually leading staff out of their comfort zones. Staff that have been at the company for a long time are likely to be the most resistant to change.

John Kotter, Professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School, says that successful transformation is 70% to 90% leadership and only 10% to 30% management.

Whether you are restructuring to increase margins and profitability, improve customer satisfaction, or become more proactive and efficient, he recommends an eight-step process that will help to lead staff down the road to change.

A large part of any change management is gradually leading staff out of their comfort zones

Step 1: Create a sense of urgency

Generate enthusiasm for change and present a compelling argument that helps people see the need for it to occur.

Step 2: Build a guiding coalition

Empower a selection of staff to guide, coordinate and communicate the change process.

Step 3: Form a strategic vision

Clarify how the changes will positively impact on the way that people work and present the initiatives that will achieve this.

Step 4: Enlist a volunteer army

It takes numbers to effect and embrace change. Get staff to buy into it and they will help to persuade others

Step 5: Enable action

If staff can see that barriers like inefficient processes are being removed, they will have the freedom to make change work.

Step 6: Generate short-term wins

Track the progress of change and make sure that even the smallest wins are recognised and communicated.

Step 7: Sustain acceleration

Once changes start to take effect, don’t become complacent. Keep up the momentum.

Step 8: Institute change

Once new processes are being used, ensure they become habitual by showing staff the relationship between these new behaviours and the success of the business.

This is one approach to effecting change within a business. If you are looking at changing and restructuring your FM, maintenance, property or estates department, we can take some of the workload.

If you want TPG to become an extension of your team, providing help and support along the road to change, get in touch today.

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