All posts by Propertyserve

Case Study: Cushman and Wakefield

Propertyserve (UK) Ltd, was invited to tender for the UK FM helpdesk contract for Cushman and Wakefield Property and Asset Management, Corporate Occupier and Investor Services, Cushman & Wakefield Site ServicesLtd.

PS were successful with the bid, the story doesn’t end there though, please take a minute to see how that has worked, the implementation process and comments from Cushman & Wakefield personnel


How to throw a great office Christmas party Propertyserve style

It’s that time of year again…the silly season has started and one can’t help but notice the local pubs and restaurants full of awkward groups of people in coloured tissue paper crowns ‘enjoying’ their work Christmas ‘dos.  You can almost touch the discomfort in the air.

Okay, so it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but company Christmas parties can definitely be stilted and uncomfortable if you don’t get them right, so here are some tips that have worked for us in throwing a party everyone enjoys:

Don’t invite partners: we involve partners in other social activities we do throughout the year, but make our Christmas party all about the Propertyserve team.  It gives us a chance to let our hair down, be silly and celebrate our hard work and achievements – without worrying if our other halves are feeling left out.

Don’t force everyone to attend: our Christmas party is not mandatory – I can think of nothing worse.  If someone isn’t feeling up to coming or not in the spirit of it all, I’d rather they stay at home and do there own thing than feel obligated to come and drag down the mood of the room.  We don’t want people there who don’t want to be. Having said that, aside from those who are genuinely ill on the day, we’ve always had 100% attendance at our Christmas ‘do, so we must be doing something right!

Mix it up: Christmas parties are a great way for everyone to get to know each other better.  We have all of our new starters give speeches to help break the ice. These have ranged from Propertyserve ‘newbies’ saying a quick ‘hello and goodbye’ to delivering an original poem that mentioned everyone in the office. That one still makes the rounds every year!

We also encourage people that don’t normally work together to interact with each other. One year we ran a competition encouraging teams to recreate silly photos by acting them out and taking their own version of the snaps. Prizes were awarded, hijinks ensued and everyone ended up in fits of laughter – we all knew each other a little better by the end of the night!

Trust people to be responsible: the Propertyserve team is a great bunch of people and we trust everyone to have a good time without overdoing it, so we avoid having too many restrictions at our parties. We want our team to be human, be themselves and have a chance to let loose a bit — not feel like they are walking on eggshells for the entire evening.

We provide transport to and from our Christmas party and put people up for the night who live too far away, so we know everyone’s safe. Aside from that, we generally all have sore heads, but good memories the following day.

The Boy Did Good!

On Wednesday 4th November, The Propertyserve team got suited and booted to attend the Premises and Facilities Management Awards with our trusted client, Cushman and Wakefield in tow.

We had entered the Partners in Expert Services Award along with Cushman. Whilst we came in runners up of the category, we didn’t – sadly – go on to win it.

BUT, we did have some great news to bring back to the office the next day! Lawrence Green, who has worked at Propertyserve UK for two years, and who manages the five-strong Cushman and Wakefield helpdesk team, did go on to win the Partnership Individual Team Member Award – for his great work in supporting and progressing the Cushman and Wakefield account. We are suitably proud of him.

Lawrence came top of a field of 35-40 other nominees put forward by their respective companies. He was asked to present to two judges back at the end of the summer, to talk through his work with Cushman and Wakefield – to  talk about the importance of his role, how he leads his team (which has more than doubled in size in the last year), and how he communicates and supports the Cushman and Wakefield team.

Lawrence comments: “Our job is all about creating solutions, and I really feel it is the responsibility of the whole team to ensure this happens.

“We help to support the management of upwards of 300 properties, and the team at Cushman and Wakefield have come to rely on us. It’s all about the attitude towards the work, and creating a strong team around you. We can then turn stressful situations into problems solved.

“I am thrilled to have won this award on behalf of Propertyserve, but I must have looked like a rabbit in headlights when Fiona Bruce (news presenter) called me back onto the stage to make a speech about my win! I wasn’t expecting that.”

Feedback from Cushman & Wakefield

” The tenants passed on more praise for the helpdesk during our monthly site meeting so thanks again for the support.

Matthew Alexander MBIFM
Regional Facilities Manager (Scotland & North East England), Property & Asset Management

” I really appreciate your services, who ever I speak to they are very professional in their attitude and very helpful in obtaining the right contractor for the job, but also within the SLA required.

Roger Turnbull
Building manager

How Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

As I find myself encamped in the hotel lobby awaiting my next appointment I’m allowed a little time to reflect on the past 3 or so months with Propertyserve… yes, 3 months already. My journeys have seen me travel to Stirling, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Teeside, as well as nearer to home in Leeds, Manchester and Shipley to name a few, and serve to highlight the vast coverage of Propertyserve UK and its supply chain.

The team has now been completed with the arrival of Ricky Nelson as the southern contract manager allowing David Lackenby to move into his new role as quality manager. In the near future we will be working closely together to identify pinch points, plan ahead as well as providing ideas for continued improvement.

I can’t help but be reflective in relation to time and at this moment reminds me of a director I worked with previously who opened my eyes to time management. We had many discussions regarding this topic with one comment sticking in my mind which I would like to share with you:

“Treat time as a management tool, an asset to be used and managed wisely. This in turn will allow you to work smarter, not longer” 

I see a link which fits in well with the recent blog released by Chris MacDonald in relation to employee well-being. To allow us to manage time we need to be motivated, fresh and engaged. I have seen and experienced first-hand the employee welfare package available to all of Propertyserve’s employees. The need for breakout space, small reward, fitness incentives, the provision of fresh food and drink in addition to quiet areas to ensure minimal distraction are all elements which often are neglected. Yet these directly impact on morale and, subsequently, performance. Believe me, in the past I fell foul to the ethos that working longer was the answer. Sometimes we just need to reflect, discuss and adapt the way we operate to achieve the correct balance. This in itself is not an easy task given the demands and pressures we find, but it can be achieved and is sometimes simply a change of mindset.

I often hear people discuss work/life balance being difficult to achieve. I believe that the benefits currently being offered to myself and my colleagues can only help conquer this, at the same time ensuring we are all prepared mentally and physically in the various service lines we offer to our clients. Needless to say, a happy workforce is, more often than not, an efficient workforce.

I have once again been astounded with the dedication shown not only by the front line troops, but by the management team’s commitment to ensure our workforce is motivated, empowered and rewarded.

I will leave you with the following quote to help you when time is taking control of your day:

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you”

Richard Parkin – Regional Contracts Manager, North

Propertyserve Partners with PerkBox

Propertyserve UK has teamed up with staff benefits provider Perkbox. Set up with the belief that the best companies to work for look after their teams, Perkbox offers staff a fantastic way of saving money and enables them to treat themselves, family and friends, without breaking the bank. Our partnership with Perkbox is another sign of the commitment to our employee well-being programme and so far it is going down well!

“Perkbox offers something different,” explains Chris MacDonald, Managing Director, “it allows our staff to enjoy activities and time outside of work at reduced costs”. Chris recently published a blog highlighting the time he spent working with various departments across the company. “I believe morale is key in the workplace and Perkbox is another avenue to sustaining a happy team,” he says. Saurav Chopra, co-founder of Perkbox, agrees. “Ensuring that a team can remain satisfied and motivated in their role is essential for delivering quality work and services for their customers, which will ultimately lead to further growth and success.”

So far, the team has jumped on the opportunity with the vast majority of employees signing up. “I’ve already taken advantage of the available discounts,” says Katherine Spencer from accounts, “I got a reduced price on a brand new washer/dryer – that arrives on Friday – and I’ve booked my car parking for when I go on holiday next month. I’ll be using the discounted cinema tickets most weeks, too.”

Hopefully, this is the start of a long and successful relationship!