The impact of intangible values on an organisation’s culture and employee wellbeing

As a provider of tailored hospitality services to workplaces we are aware that our contribution to seemingly intangible values can in fact positively impact an organisation’s culture, and in turn employee wellbeing.  With employee wellbeing having a demonstrable impact on business performance and customer service levels, the role of the facilities management (FM) company is now more than ever as pertinent to leadership & development departments as it has been to procurement & finance.

Driven by Gen-Z’s expectations, organisations are looking far deeper into their company culture, their leadership, people, policies, practices and ultimately their societal impact. From our perspective these considerations are characterised at numerous employee and customer touch points:

  • from the initial visitor welcome experience in the high-impact lobby space
  • the aesthetics and comfort of the public spaces and meeting rooms
  • creating bespoke food and drink concepts that intentionally level any corporate hierarchy
  • developing a responsible and traceable supply chain strategy and impact
  • curating out of hours events that keep employees and clients engaged and connected

Lockdown online shift 

When lockdown became a reality, company cultures and values shifted online with policies and practices being played out onscreen and a harsh realisation by organisations that employees everywhere are now making their own set of house rules. Despite successfully transitioning to new working regimes through video conferencing, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and phone calls, nothing really compares to face-to-face contact. It’s a challenging time for employers as they try and keep their teams motivated while isolation and distancing are the new norm. The importance of community and connection has never been more prevalent and having an office or regular base to work from alongside colleagues to chat with has a profound effect on mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Rebuilding the sense of unity and community 

It’s very apparent that when lockdown and social distancing are lifted, and an element of normality returns, employers will need to rebuild the sense of unity and community that will potentially have been eroded after months apart. Whether that comes through gamification, the return of face-to-face learning and development or physically being able to shake hands again – reuniting teams will help to reboot the corporate culture and values.

When teams and tribes are called back it makes sense, both commercially and from a duty of care perspective, to keep gatherings in house, or at least until we’re fully through the effects of the pandemic. Utilising office buildings for internal employee or client events seems obvious but it has never featured high on the agenda despite many of the capital’s head offices boasting architecturally significant atriums, a highly visible element that encourages a culture of interaction and movement. Many clients with whom we partner have interior spaces that have been designed to broadcast and replicate their company culture, our role as FM partner is to bring intangible values to life.