Five steps to a smooth facilities staff transition

A five step plan to ensuring a smooth staff transition when partnering with a facilities management provider on your campus.

A key goal in our FM partnerships is to retain as many of your FM professionals as possible to continue to serve your institution. Ideally, those professionals will continue to work side-by-side with the rest of your employees. Your FM team members likely have years of knowledge about the operations and unique aspects of your campus—and to replace all of them at once would be challenging. Their institutional experience will be invaluable in making our FM partnership successful.

As a trusted FM partner with hundreds of organizations, we have welcomed thousands of our clients’ FM professionals to our teams. Many continue to work with us today. By joining a firm that specializes in higher education FM and real estate services, your FM associates will gain access to professional development and training opportunities, best practices, tools and technologies to make them even more successful in their work.

However, we know that the prospect of transitioning to a corporate environment is likely to cause some stress. Similarly, we know that your stakeholders may have concerns about continuity and quality of service. To help overcome these concerns, our FM partnerships always include a well thought-out communications and implementation program to assure a smooth transition for your FM employees and keep all stakeholders informed.

1. Align associate transition goals with your service expectations

As you explore partnering with an FM service provider, consider your goals for your FM team transition. You will need to determine how benefits, compensation and training will factor into your partnership agreement and ensure that the staffing plan is aligned with service delivery goals. To alleviate concerns, we work with you to understand your employment environment and employee concerns, and offer competitive compensation and benefits to attract your FM professionals to our team to serve your campus.

2. Discuss what your transitioned associates can expect

As your trusted FM partner, we will become the new employer of your FM associates. We’re happy to discuss our track record in providing not only high-quality service, but also a rewarding and engaging experience for transitioned employees.

One way to learn more about what your transitioned associates can expect is by asking questions. For example, we can share information about employee turnover rates, average employee tenure, and the third-party organizations that have recognized our firm as a superior workplace.

We also can discuss tracking the career paths of transitioned associates. For example, as the State of Tennessee’s FM partner, our reporting includes updates about the career paths of team members who transitioned to JLL.

3. Create a strong communications plan

To keep your transition on track, we create and implement a thoughtful communications plan that anticipates and addresses important issues. Throughout an FM partnership transition, it’s natural for FM associates and other stakeholders to have questions. Whether your FM partnership involves many or few employees, it’s vital to prevent negative misperceptions from undermining the overall experience. Your FM professionals need to know that we value their experience and will work to recruit them to continue working on your campus.

Drawing from our experience with hundreds of transitions, we can help you create a clear set of messages to provide all stakeholders with accurate information at all points in the process.

Our communication plan includes:

  • Key messages for your public relations team in the event of media inquiries
  • Key messages for leadership to respond effectively to internal rumors
  • A coordinated roll-out of communications to all stakeholders as the sourcing relationship becomes official
  • Opportunities for FM professionals to discuss their concerns in one-on-one meetings with your facilities leadership
  • Critical communications as needed for your unique environment

4. Execute a comprehensive, organized transition process

Tremendous efficiencies can be gained through outsourcing facilities tasks, but none can be realized without the knowledge and support of the rank-and-file professionals who do the work. Starting them on the right foot in terms of new procedures and programs is critical to the success of the initiative.

At JLL, we commit to onboarding associates within 60 to 90 days. We ensure that transitioned associates understand such essentials as pay schedules, benefit selections and compensation reviews. We quickly train new team members on our computer systems, internal resources and reporting requirements so that the service transition is seamless.

5. We monitor career progress of professionals after the transition

By providing a positive transition experience, along with training and support to help onboarded employees learn new skills and advance their careers, the value of the FM partnership increases significantly. Some may eventually choose to move on to other assignments and greater responsibilities. Career mobility and continuing job satisfaction is a key indicator of the success of the FM partnership initiative.

Even though they have a different employer, your facilities professionals will continue to work across your campus and interact with your employees. In a successful FM partnership, your transitioned associates’ work will be significantly enhanced by access to professional development and skills training, adoption of best practices, and use of FM technologies.

From our experience, we know that the key ingredient for a successful FM partnership is an atmosphere of job satisfaction and advancement opportunities. That’s why our proven transition and onboarding process anticipates and proactively addresses associate questions. Most important, we help transform concerns into the realization that change means opportunity—and positive outcomes for all stakeholders.

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