In the post-pandemic, hybrid workplace, people are willing to come to the office, just not all the time. Gone are the days of presenteeism culture: most employees expect to do deep work at home, and spend their on-site time for team tasks and collaborative activities.
But what does it take to build a hybrid culture that empowers collaboration? It’s a result of a joint effort - particularly between Human Resources and Facility Management departments, who have been standing on the frontlines of monumental workplace transformation for the past year.
The most successful of them have their alignment strategies backed by a thorough reflection. Because of that, in this article, we raise 4 important questions to be answered by each HR and FM representative (best - if done together), willing to strengthen their inter-departmental collaboration.
How do you currently collaborate?
A stereotypical depiction of HR responsibilities is likely to involve keywords such as headhunting, retention, or benefits, while cost efficiency, safety, and amenities would be common for a facility management description. Blended together, these functions create the foundation of workplace experience, which is, in fact, the ultimate HR and FM goal.
The workplace experience starts with a message. It greets employees (or visitors) at the lobby and follows them to meeting rooms, collaboration and leisure areas. What stories do these spaces (FM field) tell about your brand, wellness priorities, and employer value proposition (HR field)?
Try to identify all similar workplace experience touchpoints in your organization. Visibility over stand-alone HR and FM responsibilities and their functional alignment will simplify the creation of a functional, healthy environment where employees thrive.
What are the roadblocks that sabotage HR and FM collaboration in your organization?
Even if mutual goals are clear and well-established, HR and FM departments often tend to impede the progress by operating independently and making unilateral decisions. For example, human resources might raise work from home quotas while facility management struggles to maintain a full-sized office (when, in fact, some of the areas could be temporarily closed, depending on the number of employees on-site). Do your HR and FM teams invest time, effort, and resources into actions that negatively impact one another?
Another serious roadblock to successful collaboration is the connection to leadership. Although in the past few years facility management has grown out of its routine responsibilities to more strategic roles, it is not always reflected in managerial setups. Traditionally, HR is included in the leadership board, while a seat for FM is often neglected. Maybe your organizational structure needs a change?
How HR and FM alignment can strengthen your organization?
According to Unispace’s White Paper on Workplace 2020, almost half of the interviewed workplace leaders (45%) utilized in-house competence for change management, as compared to 19% of those who counted on external know-how. As today’s workplace is inseparable from change, the linchpin resource to tackle it - internal expertise - better come from strongly aligned teams. Well-synced collaboration between departments, such as HR and FM, is the first step to a successful workplace transition to a hybrid model and its integrated management.
Then, it’s the question of employee well-being, which should be maintained consistently, yet this simple condition is commonly overlooked. Research shows that 30% of HR managers are most likely to consider employee well-being during recruitment, and the same 30% are least likely to work on it during the exit process. As we already discussed, the collaboration between HR and FM begins with a search of common touchpoints, which, in one way or another, create employee experience. The two roles working in sync is a straightforward way to boost it, consistently.
How to begin the collaboration between HR and FM?
If you have run through the questions above during a Zoom meeting or over a cup of coffee, you already did it. Most likely, the answers not only help to clarify HR - FM collaboration particularities in your organization, but also inspire to establish some shared values: support, communication, transparency.
In cases when one of the sides lacks leadership, the other can push its voice forward by including mutual activities in their agendas, promoting collaboration ideas and even requesting for more strategic “weight” for the counterpart from the board. If both HR and FM are granted the same decision-making powers, the collaboration is only limited to the openness and proactiveness of their representatives.
Some of the cornerstone collaboration principles, such as transparency, can be easily established with the help of technology. For example, an integrated workplace management solution, such as YAROOMS, can offer not only useful functionalities for space booking and occupancy management, but also provide visibility over everyone’s schedule to both management and employees.
If you would like to find out more about how YAROOMS can help to sync your HR and FM activities, let’s talk.