Managing the experience

27th of December 2019 Article by John Griep
Managing the experience

ECJ's Dutch correspondent John Griep of VSR looks at how the cleaning operation in any building impacts on the experience of the users every day.

Forget the objective measurement of fingermarks, dust particles and cleaning performance. During the VSR’s recent event, the focus was on the staff’s subjective work experience. For example, temperature – a relatively small component in the workplace – has a considerable impact on workplace experience.

This was revealed in the Leesman Index, a method used to measure the effect of the physical work environment and related services, on workplace experience. “We are like radiologists, but not doctors,” explained Gideon van der Burg, managing director Benelux.

The index is a digital survey consisting of 90 questions. These cover staff activities such as work requiring concentration or telephone calls, the physical work environment such as the office and noise level, the facility services such as cleaning, and the variation offered in the available workplaces. The purpose is to measure the impact of these factors on employees’ productivity and pride.

Two important questions: What is important to you? (for example, temperature) And how much (or little) does this support you in your activities? Employees give a score.

Seventy-seven per cent of employees consider temperature to be important, while only 30 per cent are happy with it. The score says nothing about whether the temperature is at the best level in scientific terms, it relates only to the experience.

Using international data from  600,000 employees working in 4,000 buildings, the organisation has access to valuable information - which allows you to measure your business.

At VSR too, we have realised for some time that scientific data alone is not the answer. Even if you satisfy all the agreements as a cleaning provider, your client may still be unhappy.

As part of the ‘facilities and services’ component, the index shows almost 74 per cent of employees consider toilets to be important. Yet only 50 per cent are happy with them. And 75 per cent find cleaning important; 62 per cent are satisfied.

The index demonstrates a small component in what Leesman calls ‘the workplace ecosystem’ can be important and have a huge impact on your organisation’s index score.

“The real revolution is managing on an experience basis,” says Van der Burg. “In the past, adjustments were driven by the criteria occupancy, cost, real estate, FM, HR and IT. Yet there is one massive criterion above every one of these and that’s experience. If you make people prouder and more effective, you achieve more than with criteria lower down the scale.”

It appears there are 13 super drivers affecting the workplace experience. Such as general cleanliness, toilets, office and noise level. But also ‘learning from others’ and ‘relaxing and taking a break’.

“These components must be put at the top of every agenda,” in Leesman’s opinion.

An opportunity for cleaners. Of course it is important to respect your agreements, and ensure the toilet is hygienically clean and no dust is flying around. However, satisfaction goes further than technical cleanliness! And this is also something you can influence. A smile, some input, an unexpected gesture; they cost nothing and they even make you happy too.


Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited