Mobilising an FM contract across Europe from an HR perspective | Macro

Mobilising an FM contract across Europe from an HR perspective

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By Adelaide Forbes, Head of Human Resources, Macro

It is not a small undertaking, mobilising an FM contract across Europe. You will need to consider that each country speaks a different language, has its own legislation, statutory employment benefits entitlements, and unique culture. For human resources professionals, this is quite a challenge.

My approach to a successful European mobilisation:

Getting comfortable working for a UK employer

Each country has its own application of the transfer process which affects the employees’ terms and conditions. One of the biggest areas I focus on is making people feel comfortable about working for a UK employer - you have to build trust in a short space of time. To overcome this, we look for opportunities to interact with the teams and to learn what is important to them. At first they are concerned about their benefits, and we understand this. But once we have confirmed their entitlements, we focus on the career opportunities that a company like Macro can offer. If someone has been in the same role for some time, we look to see if a move to another site or contract might appeal. We are committed to helping our team members develop the breadth and depth of their experience. Once the teams see how passionate we are about providing an exceptional service and that we try to promote people quickly and give them new responsibilities and development opportunities, they start to feel more engaged and valued. They then buy in to Macro and feel that they have made the right choice.

Seeing the bigger picture

When you’re doing a job you don’t always see how it fits in with the bigger picture, and so we involve our teams as much as possible when bidding for new work. We invite potential clients to meet the teams and learn how they deliver services under the Macro brand. Their job helps us to sell our story, and sometimes, for the first time, they can feel the real value of what they do.

Breaking the silo mentality

In order to overcome language barriers, we appoint regional managers and encourage people to get to know their colleagues on other sites, and talk to and support each other. At least once a year we create opportunities for teams from different European locations to come together at our head office in London; this is partly to interact with each other, but also to have the opportunity to engage with the head office team. We are breaking the silo mentality not just across sites, but also across countries so that everyone feels part of one team.

Top tips

Be sincere in your message and do what you say you will do.  Every opportunity to respond to an email or speak to someone by phone is a chance to build a relationship. 

I feel very proud of what we have achieved and now that we have a critical mass outside of the UK, I know we are well positioned to win any type of contract.

Follow Adelaide on Twitter. @Adelaide_Forbes