I remember the day as well as any – don’t we all. En route to my school with my mum – trying to come up with some sort of explanation as to why my GCSE results were unlikely to live up to my parent’s expectations. At the same time, I was also trying to convince myself that if I’d actually revised rather than spending the majority of Spring trying to perfect my over-head-kick technique and free kick taking from 25 yards, I’d have definitely achieved 10 GCSEs at grade A-C.
Upon arrival, my mum’s comment of “you’ll have done great” did little to calm my nerves or enhance my ability to persuade my legs to carry me through the front door of Holmer Green Upper School reception. As it turns out, it wasn’t that bad – 5 Bs, 1 C and… well, no need to list them all here.
When it comes to leaving school, whether after GCSE or A’Levels, people often find themselves drifting into ‘stop-gap’ jobs, allowing them to earn whilst considering their future career path, or whether further education is for them (or not). Call centres and helpdesks are filled to the rafters with these types of people.
Sadly, and often due to the nature of the employee’s intent this can have a detrimental effect on the service these companies can provide. The people taken on board are treated like they are only worthy of the stop-gap nature of the work. Unless people care about the organisations they represent and their own development within such companies, naturally it is reflected in their performance.
At Propertyserve, our facilities management helpdesk is mainly made up of people who have completed their A’ Levels, decided that university is not for them and they are looking to start a career. They aren’t looking for the role to be a ‘stop-gap’, and we don’t treat them like it is.
From our first encounter with potential employees, we’re keen to sell our business to them, allow them to understand our company culture and lay in front of them a career path that can be achieved with the right application and attitude. We also provide chapter and verse on the role, training involved and genuinely attempt to understand their own career aspirations.
This approach has proved fruitful, resulting in an extremely low staff turnover – no more so than on our helpdesk. With one employee leaving us in the past three years, we’re extremely proud of the team we’ve assembled and the results they’ve managed to achieve. By empowering our staff and providing them with the training and tools to feel confident in their role they can perform with great efficiency, take pride in their work and buy in to the fact that they can have a potentially long and fruitful future with us.
Our part of the bargain comes in continuing to grow and diversify the business in order to provide our people with the opportunities to progress.
Taking the time to build this mutual respect and loyalty between the business and its staff has meant that our team has been populated with people who hold a greater stake in the company. This has created an FM helpdesk comprising of people who genuinely care more about each and every task they take on, ensuring that when a job is left in our hands, those hands are as safe and capable as they can be. Who said helpdesks weren’t helpful?
Ian Robertson, Director at Propertyserve UK