Diversity - a common goal
We talk about openness to others, responsibility, as well as supporting business development with Maciej Wąsek, board member of ISS Hub Warsaw and CEO for Poland and the Baltic States.
During the ABSL Appreciation Gala you had the pleasure to present the award in the Social Impact Leaders category to Professor Adam Bodnar. I know that his values are close to those of ISS. What is the most important in your everyday work?
I have great respect for Professor Adam Bodnar and the values he follows, and I was very pleased to give the award in the Social Impact Leaders category. Like Professor Bodnar, we value openness to others above all in our organization. We are a global employer, employing people from different countries, cultures, religions and political views, and these differences are the foundation of our company; they build it up, not divide it.
We are also distinguished by the responsibility for our services. Regardless of whether we serve shared service centres, banks, IT firms, companies from pharma or F&B industries, hospitals or airports, our goal and priority are always to support their business development. Above all, we help build a friendly work environment and comfortable space for teamwork. We also make sure that our client can achieve their mission and goals. If a company we work with wants to become the most innovative company in the world, we follow that path too. If security is most important, then we look for the most satisfactory solutions in this regard. The service we provide is supposed to be at the level of a five-star hotel, and its costs should be close to the costs of a three-star hotel. This is especially important when providing integrated FM services.
So we connect people and places, building the optimal working environment. And all this is possible thanks to dedicated employees, high standards and smart solutions.
ISS has around 400,000 employees worldwide – do they become part of a particular organization you provide services to? How do you integrate teams and assimilate different organizational cultures?
Any responsible company should make necessary efforts to create a safe and inclusive work environment that benefits the communities in which its employees operate. At ISS, we therefore treat each workplace as our own, regardless of where we provide services.
Fairness, equality, connecting various social groups, responsibility, sustainability or integration with the immediate environment are not empty words. We always strive to create a culture of communication and cooperation where diversities and individuality are valued and respected. It is also important that employees see the sense of their work and understand that it translates into something bigger – a common goal – such as for instance protecting the planet.
Actually many companies are now emphasizing the importance of taking care of the planet. How does the FM industry, which you represent, support sustainability?
That’s right, more and more companies are taking various actions to care for our planet, and companies representing the ABSL sector are leading these changes. So a responsible FM partner, should support companies in optimizing the costs of real estate maintenance; which, on the one hand has of course an economic dimension, but the environmental aspect is extremely important as well. A better insulated building, a properly designed lighting system with sensors turning lights on and off, allows less energy to be consumed. In addition, the implementation of procedures for facility cleaning reduces water consumption, and the use of eco-friendly cleaning products eliminates excess chemical waste. Another example is managing your fleet of cars wisely and switching to electric cars, which helps reduce your carbon footprint.
More and more companies are able to look beyond their business and care about a wider community. And I’m glad to see that employees themselves are putting pressure in this area.
What is the most important factor for you in business relations with partners?
Credibility. I need to know that a person who makes certain declarations and statements will do everything to keep them. It is also important that we share similar values with our partners, then I know that we are striving for the same thing.
Has the pandemic, which we have been facing for some time now, harmed the company?
On the contrary, and paradoxically, we have become a much more important partner. As long as we provided our services well in pre-Covid times, no one really took notice. When office buildings became empty during the pandemic, it was our employees who took care of the maintenance of the entire facility and infrastructure. Our reception desks became the center of communication. This showed how important we are as a business partner. We have coped very well in these difficult times.