If the first time you notice something is when it stops working, does that mean it’s core or non-core?
Some parts of the running of your organisation will probably be invisible to you until they affect you personally. This is probably because your facility manager keeps things running smoothly in the background and is supporting your organisation in ways you don’t realise. Core and non-core activities would seem to be clearly separated into the tasks that improve customer value and drive profits and those that don’t. However, they don’t challenge us to see the overlap or consider how seemingly non-core business activities play an essential role in an organisation, especially if these activities are not immediately evident.
Supporting the Core Activities of the business
Facility management touches every aspect of an organisation and consequently, is heavily engaged in supporting the core activities of the business. The facility management supports the end user experience by focusing on creating positive interactions and addresses all aspects of how a workplace is used by all occupants, employees, and customers alike. The needs of the business and its stakeholders will change over time. Consequently, a facility management service provider can listen to and work with organisations to manage their future needs. The most current example of changes within organisations is the move to collective remote working almost a year and a half ago. It was the responsibility of facility managers to aid their organisations in quickly and safely closing their properties and facilitating the transferal of working from in-office to a digital and remote incarnation. Facility managers were then able to support the demand organisation further by helping them set up safe remote working environments for their employees through remote DSE assessments.
Managing or reducing costs is a concern for many businesses. One of the largest financial outlays an organisation makes is its office and workplace services. Reducing costs by managing the facility while maintaining service standards is a challenge. However, for a facility management service provider they can meet that challenge by optimising space, implementing facilities management software, and automating time demanding tasks, thus resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective facility management.
Maintaining business continuity has become manifestly more important since March 2020. When a facility management service provider is included in creating a business continuity plan (BCP), it supports the core activities of the organisation. In providing input to the BCP a facility management provider can help to identify and quantify assumptions and actively manage the risk (facilitiesnet.com). Consequently, the BCP will assist in resuming normal business operations as soon as possible.
The physical environment in which an employee works is significant to building employee engagement (Anitha, 2014.) Optimising the available space for work or relaxation, ensuring enough natural light, appropriate furniture, using colour, imagery and artwork to build an engaging and pleasing work environment for employees. These are some of the ways in which a facility management service provider assists in building employee engagement. The result of engaged employees is increased productivity and staff retention which supports the core activities of the organisation.
Ensuring legal and regulatory compliance is also part of a facility managers remit and as compliance mandates become more wide-ranging, so do the risks (Facility Executive, 2015.) Health and safety are one of the most familiar areas of compliance for businesses. However other areas of compliance that facility management are concerned with include sustainability and procurement. These also overlap with environmental social governance or corporate social responsibility. Using responsible suppliers and ethical contractors can support the ESG efforts of a business.
Core and non-core business activities do not exist on their own but frequently intersect and sometimes on closer inspection are more closely connected to each other. Each of these seemingly non-core business activities contributes to services that are essential for the running of an organisation.
Facility management has evolved into a discipline concerned with building a great workplace experience for all occupants. Creating a work environment that supports employees and the core activities of a business can be accomplished by ensuring that costs are monitored, employees feel supported and are engaged and that the business is compliant with the required standards.
Anitha, J. (2014) ‘Determinants of Employee Engagement and Their Impact on Employee Performance’, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management (Vol. 63, Issue 3)
‘FM Compliance: Don’t Ignore These 7 Areas’, Facility Executive, 2015 (https://facilityexecutive.com/2015/11/facility-management-compliance-survey/)
Business Continuity Strategy: 10 Key Steps’ by Chris Matt (https://www.facilitiesnet.com/emergencypreparedness/article/Business-Continuity-Strategy-10-Key-Steps–12328?source=part)