Facilities Manager | May/June 2017

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34 MAY/JUNE 2017 FACILITIES MANAGER UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA Charlottesville, Virginia Submitted by Vibha J. Buckingham, Associate Director, Building Services; and Sandra A. Smith, SPHR, Mananger, Quality Assurance + Staff Development TAKE YOUR CUSTOMER'S PULSE AND IMPROVE YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL HEALTH Sometimes we're too quick to formally gauge customer satisfaction. Electronic surveys may or may not get customers' atten- tion, and once launched, esurveys take a great deal of time to organize and interpret. Communicating that we care and are making changes to improve can be challenging, particularly when respondents are promised anonymity. We continue to do biannual electronic surveys where customers give us their candid reviews of our work. But we decided sur- vey-taking needed to have a more personal touch. To make it easier for customers to give us feedback that some consider "bad news," they use numbers and not words to describe their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. It works like this: Once a quarter, managers select customers and ask five questions. e responses range from 1 through 5, with 5 being the best. "Tell us how you feel about… P=Performance of our management team U=Understanding your needs L= Level of cleanliness of your space S=Staff (front-line) performance E=Everything else—what else would you like us to know?" Responses 1, 2, and 3 are less favorable ratings, and we follow up on them to reach customer solutions. Responses 4 and 5 indicate that customers are happy and satisfied. To complete this metric, we reassess each successive quarter with the goal of finishing the year with at least 85 percent of our responses being 4 or 5. is one-on-one approach gives us another opportunity to have customer conversations, and at the same time, show them that we care about how they feel. In the end, when the numbers don't say "we love your work," we listen carefully. Taking your customer's PULSE is a prescription for success. Give it a try and see if it doesn't help improve the quality of your organization's health. ■ TAKE CARE OF YOUR EMPLOYEES FIRST . . . AND THEY'LL TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS is year, we made workplace "happiness" a performance goal. How can we in- crease workplace satisfaction, add doses of fun, and reduce employee stress? At the same time, our management team wanted to inject some surprises into workdays that can seem mundane and monotonous. Making satisfaction at work an annual performance goal ups the importance of adding fun to everyone's work day. Every manager will be evaluated on how positive his or her employees feel. Some of the ways that we'll measure success are through brief surveys to help us understand overall changes in mood or increases in productive workplace dialogues. One important element of the goal is to empower supervisors to include fun in their daily routines. e only ground rules are that all activities must be respect- ful, legal, and reasonable. e goal is to just do something unique that grabs one's attention, brings a smile, and overall creates a memorable moment. We realize that every employee will not look forward to coming to work every day. But what we can realistically expect is that in each corner of our business, there will be more smiles, more solutions, and higher levels of engagement. As an added bonus, we expect an increase in customer satisfaction levels. When employees feel good, the positivity always transfers directly to our customers. Steve Glazner is APPA's director of knowledge management and editor of Facilities Manager; he can be reached at

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