This capability is concerned with day to day management of resources needed to deliver effective workplaces. Resource Management covers physical assets but also the human resources and utilities that are consumed. The aim of this capability:
- To ensure that that the organisation responsible for managing the workplace has the right number of suitably trained and motivated people to deliver the workplace and services.
- To ensure that the best in class management techniques are deployed to ensure that people within organisations responsible for the workplace are inspired to deliver excellence in customer service.
- To form decisions based on evidence of actual consumption of services, space, systems, services and other resources.
- To enable short term changes in demand to be balanced against available capacity in the most cost and productive manner.
- To enable the efficient use of the workplace to deliver on sustainability requirements.
Within the Strategic Management section of the Workplace Management Framework, we discussed the careful design of a workplace experience deliberately and painstakingly linked to a variety of business objectives. Resource Management is concerned with the day-to-day provisioning and allocation of all workplace services and assets to ensure the delivery of the ‘designed’ workplace experience.
The aim is deliver the same experience day in day out, come rain or shine regardless of business conditions and as such resource management is about making sure that all resources (people, space, consumables, services) are adequately provisioned and delivered to ensure the experience never fails. Consequently, it relies upon detailed feeds of information on the demand and consumption of spaces and resources along with lead indicators that will signal risks to the delivery of an effective experience and the efficiency of the process of delivery.
Traditional management of workplace resources
Most organisations see Resource Management as business as usual, and so it is, but the ownership of the workplace resources is typically split into different functional departments and decisions are based upon different views and objectives, standards and operational budgets.
- Space use and physical changes in space allocation and standards.
- Responsibility for ensuring that the performance of the building(s) is maintained at an economically justified level.
- Negotiation of energy and utilities supply and their efficient use.
- Regulations covering sustainability are met.
- The cost effective delivery of soft services such as cleaning, security, catering and Health & Safety.
- The forward technical strategy and IT architecture for the business.
- The provision and maintenance of desktop and mobile technology, servers, data networks, telephony, videoconferencing, data security.
- The development of employment policies that meet the needs of the business.
- The supply and retention of staff with skills that meet those current and future needs.
- The operational processes of salary and recruitment administration.
- The development of staff and their welfare.
Whilst this has served the needs of business well in the past, it is increasingly clear that the lack of joined up working between these departments will render the experience disjointed and unaligned with business drivers.
Businesses are competing on wider bases than lowest costs and the focus is shifting to faster introduction of new products and services, greater agility, and engaging people with high skills in technology and business acumen. The workplace services required need to be viewed from a more highly integrated holistic basis and viewed from the consumers’ experience.
Managing resources to deliver the experience
In order to deliver an effective and consistent workplace experience on a day to day basis the appropriate services, processes and resources need to be designed to minimise the risk of failure. Let us take ‘Reception;’ as an example. Let’s say that we want an experience at reception that is warm, smooth, timely, multi-lingual and friendly. This simple statement gives us a baseline for designing the experience and the resources associated with it.
- Warm: This is largely about the style, skills, look and personal attributes of the reception staff and the design of the space.
- Smooth: Is a function of the process, supporting technology, availability of resources and the style and personality of the reception staff
- Timely: This is a function of the process and the availability of reception staff and the time taken to ‘process’ a guest arrival.
- Multi-lingual: This is concerned with the availability of reception staff with multiple languages or access to systems that enable translation.
- Friendly: This relates to the style and personality of the reception staff and the, design of reception processes and space.
Of course the number of people coming in to reception is different on different days of the week and different times of the year. It may also be associated with the specific events/meetings being held by different departments. The nature of the transaction at reception may also differ in its demand of resources based upon the nature of a visit (e.g. arrival and booking in of a temp v arrival of a business partner or client)
To protect the effectiveness of the reception experience and ensure it is delivered with the same level of enthusiasm and effectiveness every minute of every day we need to have as much understanding of the forward demand for reception services as possible so that we can provision resources.
In the world of Workplace Management, it’s not OK to have a poorer experience at reception on a Monday than say a Wednesday because we have a peak demand of temps coming into the building. Neither is it OK for a temp to have second class experience.
So in order to ensure the effective delivery of the experience a more sophisticated approach needs to be taken to the management of resources. This is not just true of reception services, it is true of every aspect of the workplace experience at every point in every journey throughout the day of the employee.
Managing workplace resources in the digital workplace
We have consistently argued in this series of blogs that in the future the business will require a digital workplace where people who carry out the work are viewed as consumers and are core to the business.
The growing international concern over the effects of climate change is also becoming a major political issue which has implications on energy use and waste disposal policies and practices in business and government. It will become a significant factor in changing the management of these resources, the recruitment of top talent and in reducing high carbon based business travel.
The Management of Workplace Resources in this Digital Workplace depends upon:
- The needs of the wide range of work styles used by the business are understood and defined.
- IT, FM and HR Services are holistically designed that positively and consistently support the work styles in use.
- The resources required by those services are defined.
- Resource requirements are reviewed as a formal part of transformation change processes to agile working.
- Resource Performance metrics and the sources of relevant data and data owners are identified. For example, the daily utilisation of desks, meeting rooms and storage.
- Advising the business upon strategic sustainability goals and in developing plans to achieve targets.
- Utilisations of carbon based energy supplies are monitored to meet reduction targets.
- The uses of single use plastics by the suppliers of workplace services are monitored regularly to meet reduction targets.
The management of resources depends upon accurate understanding of the detailed way in which resources are consumed across multiple service suppliers and resources and how demand is matched to the provision of resources (people, assets, services). In parallel with measurements of outcomes determined through the Performance Management aspects of the Workplace Management Framework, there is also a need to understand the consumption of resources associated with the delivery of work experiences and lead indicators that will help ensure effective provision and resilience. Business as usual ain’t what it used to be in the world of Workplace Management.