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SBF and Industry Partners Share Findings to Transform and Uplift the Estate and Facilities Management Sector

Workers in the Estate and Facilities Management (EFM) sector can look forward to better career prospects and remuneration while EFM companies can achieve long term manpower and cost sustainability.  

Thursday, 7 July 2022 [Singapore] – Workers in the Estate and Facilities Management (EFM) sector can look forward to better career prospects and remuneration while EFM companies can achieve long term manpower and cost sustainability. The potential for these was demonstrated through 10 pilot projects involving close to 50 trade staff as part of the SBF EFM Lighthouse Project.

The Lighthouse Project is an industry-led effort in collaboration between the Singapore Business Federation (SBF); seven industry partners – Allgreen Properties, CapitaLand, CBM, Certis CISCO, Far East Organization, ISS Facilities, and Pontiac Land; and four Trade Associations and Chambers – Environmental Management Association of Singapore (EMAS), Landscape Industry Association of Singapore (LIAS), Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS), and Security Association Singapore (SAS).

The findings of the project were presented by SBF and its industry partners to Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration, Mr Desmond Lee, at a visit to Great World Serviced Apartments today. During the visit, trade staff from security and housekeeping shared their experiences in picking up customer service and basic Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) maintenance skills as part of their multi-skilling journey.

Over a span of 15 months, SBF and its industry partners implemented pilot projects to explore ways to address the persistent manpower challenges facing the EFM sector and to sustainably enhance and uplift the livelihoods of EFM trade staff.

One of the key learnings from the pilot projects is that job redesign and expanding the skillsets and capabilities of workers can lead to mutual benefits for employees and employers. Companies can benefit from improved productivity gains with a skilled and motivated workforce, while workers can enjoy better career progression and wages. However, to achieve this, companies must invest in the training and development of their staff to ensure they are well-equipped to perform their expanded roles successfully. Mutual trust and close communication between employers and employees are also critical to the success. Allgreen Properties, the owner of Great World Serviced Apartments rolled out two pilot projects which demonstrated this, and these were shared with Minister Desmond Lee during his visit.

Another area of opportunity is the implementation of outcome-based contracts that align the interests of service buyers and providers in terms of mutually desired outcomes. Having clearly defined, fair and mutually agreed contract specifications not only reduces the risk of disputes, but service buyers can also enjoy more consistent levels of service while service providers can deploy a more streamlined and productive workforce. CapitaLand and ISS Facilities worked closely on an integrated cleaning and landscaping outcome-based contract to ensure contract provisions were mutually beneficial, site-specific, and aligned with the service provider’s capabilities and strengths.

Mr Lam Yi Young, CEO of SBF said, “The Lighthouse Project brought together like-minded companies and trade associations and chambers to address the manpower challenges facing the EFM sector through process transformation and job redesign. The pilot projects showed that with service buyers and service providers working together, the EFM sector can achieve sustainable productivity gains and uplift the skills and wages of workers. Service buyers, service providers and EFM workers all stand to gain.”

Ms Jodie Choo, Chairperson of the EFM Lighthouse Project Steering Committee, and Group Head of HR, IT and Administration, Far East Organization, said, “The coming together of multiple stakeholders – buyers and sellers of services, trade association partners and government agencies – was key to the success of the Lighthouse Project. Focusing on our shared aspiration to sustainably enhance and uplift the livelihoods of trade staff in the EFM sector, we are heartened that participating companies and partners are committed to openly sharing their ideas and experiences and collaborating to co-create mutually beneficial solutions. At Far East Organization, our pilot efforts have yielded positive mindset changes and productivity gains. We will continue the momentum by rolling out redesigned jobs and outcome-based contracting to another seven properties, and we expect greater efficiencies when the solution is scaled even further.”

Please refer to our EFM Lighthouse Project webpage (https://sustainable-employment.sbf.org.sg/efm-lighthouse-project/) to download the report and accompanying resources.

Annex A: List of pilot projects

 

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