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In my latest episode of FM Evolution I had the opportunity to chat with Jon Bolen, CEO of ENTOUCH. We talked about being a leader through uncertain times, ENTOUCH's innovative mindset, and cultivating ENTOUCH's strong culture.  LEADERSHIP THROUGH A PANDEMIC Jon's company has been able to stay above water throughout the pandemic and economic collapse. In fact, they did not have to furlough employees, while other companies' hands were forced. He attributes much of this to a strong mentality of not being a victim of the pandemic. He wants to be the antithesis of sitting around and waiting until the world goes back to something resembling normalcy.   While ...
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Shownotes (00:47) Intro (3:10) Introducing Interplay Learning (4:40) The role of VR in Interplay Learning’s curriculum  (12:02) Addressing the age gap in FM workers (14:48) COVID’s effects on Interplay Learning (17:59) Looking into Interplay Learning’s online training (22:50) What kind of results in Interplay Learning seeing in the market? (25:41) What is Doug reading? (28:57) Wrapping up   Quotes “That’s the gap that we’re trying to fill.  We put up an on-demand, online catalog for electrical, mechanical, and industrial workers trying to activate the learning around these technician trades.” (4:04)   “Ultimately it’s ...
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Within the utility sector, during the COVID-19 crisis, many utilities have changed their payment policies to ease the burden for companies that have either had to close or move to shortened operating hours. The utilities have allowed customers to extend the due dates on their bills, defer payments in some cases up 6 months or allowed negotiated payment terms to spread out the total cost. Now that we are 3 months into this crisis, some of the policies that were implemented are now expiring and payments are coming due. This has become an opportunity for scammers to try to install themselves and take advantage of the situation.   We are currently working with ...
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This article first appeared on www.branded-group.com Whether you are shopping at one of your favorite retailers or enjoying a delicious meal at a restaurant, the last thing you’d expect to see happen would be a car crashing into the front door. While this may seem far-fetched, it is a reality for thousands of facilities including retail stores, offices, restaurants, and other businesses. According to the   Storefront Safety Council , each year in the United States there is an average of 20,000 occurrences, (roughly 60 times per day), of this unexpected incident. Of these crashes, 24% involve retail stores, 23% occur in commercial buildings, and 19% of restaurants ...
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This article first appeared on   inc.com Even if your New Year's resolution is no longer top of mind, continue to prioritize self-care throughout 2020. With January 2020 already in the rearview mirror, it can be challenging to persevere in our intentions and  resolutions for the new year . The  motivation to start fresh  can falter as our best intentions get hijacked by day-to-day life. However, if we truly want to make positive changes and make the phrase “New year, new you” come to fruition, we must  evaluate ourselves personally and professionally . As leaders, this introspection has to extend to our organizations as well. What can we do better ...
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If you walk into your favorite retailer, you can easily see that change is in the air. Whether it be the new display cases or bright LED lights or even the addition of a coffee bar, the days of one and done shopping are over. Today’s customer wants to have a shopping experience, where their time in your store becomes something to remember. It’s called “retailtainment,” and it’s likely the biggest trend hitting retail in quite some time. But what exactly is this new form of shopping that’s causing a stir in the industry and more importantly, are you ready for it? RETAIL PLUS ENTERTAINMENT EQUALS MEMORIES. Retailtainment is defined simply as the combination ...
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“Business Interruption is a comprehensive policy… if your business stops because a loss occurs, you have physical damage to your property, there is this business interruption coverage that covers the profits you’ve lost during that time you were shut down.” Eric Townsend [00:06:55]   As life begins to return to normal following the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses are struggling to financially recover from unprecedented losses. Although some insurance policies will cover partial amounts of these losses, there is no way to know with certainty just how much any business truly lost. Here is what you need to know as your business begins ...
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  Employees are the backbone of every company, which means employees view their job is just as important as the work that they are doing. Are you creating an environment that employees feel seen, heard, and respected in?    Keeping employees invested in their work is an age old dilemma. One way to gain the focus of employees is to direct their attention towards measurable growth. That growth may not come in the form of monetary wealth, but instead in personal and team goal achievements. Determine how you as a leader can pour into your employees without micromanaging. “As the owner and the leader of the company, sending random ...
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Leading in a Crisis   COVID-19 has rocked the world, to say the least. Many businesses have been dismantled, employees laid off, and industries changed forever. In these times of uncertainty, how can you rise to the occasion as a leader?   A simple way to break down facing an intimidating situation is with the acronym F.E.A.R. Leaders can do one of two things: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. Leaders who can perform with the latter of these in mind will rise to the occasion and encourage employees to do the same. This mindset allows your team to stay on track with goals and keep sight of your company’s ...
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What's up guys! Check out our latest Podcast in our Leadership Series.   Show Notes   (00:47) Introduction (2:58) What can we expect now that businesses are trying to reopen? (4:41) How do you think this process is going to affect them and immediate future? (6:25) How do you think restaurants are going to manage with all those new requirements? (8:42) What do you think is the best way for restaurants to keep their team safe?  (12:01) OSP: Optimized Sanitation Process (12:47) Covid 19 Safety Compliance Monitoring (15:59) There Will be challenges, but were not on the sidelines ...
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Continuous learning is an essential component of Branded Group’s #BeBetter culture. In her recent LinkedIn article,  Five Tips for Advancing an Authentic Learning Culture , Kiira Belonzi, Branded Group’s Vice President of Business Development, discusses five key strategies leaders can implement in the workplace that promote an environment of learning. As the Vice President of Development and lead educator for a nationwide facility services provider, many of the solutions that I implement for our company result in happier, more productive employees and improved client services. Fortunately, I am passionate about identifying opportunities for improvement, ...
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First published on LinkedIn - January 28, 2020 Engagement. Retention. Loyalty. These are terms that human resources managers tend to use in measuring employee job satisfaction. However, they can and should also apply to your organization’s social media strategy and your approach to creating a team of internal influencers to further elevate your brand. Any social media or tech-savvy team member may be able to craft interesting content, but are they the best people to engage with your customers and followers? Those who are closest to the audience you’re trying to reach, like sales or customer relations, may be in a better position to strike up an engaging conversation. ...
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As published on Inc.com. As entrepreneurs,  risk-taking  is in our DNA. It’s why we started our businesses, why we forge ahead through challenges and also why we are never satisfied with the status quo. Pushing yourself to  think outside of the box  so that you can stay ahead of the ever-changing business environment is the norm for any savvy business owner. It’s been nearly four years since I started my company and we have grown by leaps and bounds due to the talent and dedication of my team. Their commitment to delivering excellence on a daily basis is the foundation for our  continued growth . However, the team on day one looked very different than the ...
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In the facility management world, Covid-19 will forever leave its mark on our industry. Together as an industry, we face an incredible amount of furloughs and loss in revenue, which means we will need to innovate in order to get us out of this situation and keep our businesses intact. As a vendor who provides services to Facility Management market, we are looking to create new synergies, new service offerings, and new ways to conduct business and counteract Covid-19.   Events like Covid-19 hit our community hard. There will be winners and losers and some companies will close their doors forever. This kind of Black swan event has happened before and ...
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As seen in Forbes.com Your company culture is your foundation. It is the bedrock from which your employees will thrive, your customers will engage, and your partners will benefit. It will help you survive the winds of change and face the challenges that come your way. When implemented purposefully, it may also be a key differentiator among your competitors. Spending time to create a company culture that sits on a shelf is not only a waste of time, it may damage your brand. Your employees and your customers need to see that you are steadfast in your commitment. This is what engages your workforce. This is what makes a lasting brand and builds trust. This ...
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Our industry is built off failures. We are inundated with news of failed appliances, HVAC and plumbing systems, and whatever else might break down in the matter of a day. What’s that a recipe for? A constant state of addressing problems we had little to do with. At times it is overwhelming, it requires the ability to adapt, respond, and react in ways that are quick and efficient. No day mirrors the one before, and as the days go on, we learn to be a little quicker, more efficient, and more effective.  As a Young Sales Professional learning to adjust to a new normal, I’ve had to adapt new practices. Here are some of my top tips to successfully responding ...
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Appeared on Forbes.com “Gratitude” is a word we tend to hear more of around the Thanksgiving holiday when families and loved ones gather to express their thankfulness. However, I don’t subscribe to this once-a-year approach, instead I incorporate gratitude into my life every day. Some may call this a “practice.” I call it my life philosophy. I’m well aware that my personal and professional success did not happen in a vacuum. There are many people who are responsible for this success, including my team, mentors, coaches, clients, friends, and family. I strive to ensure each of them know how appreciative I am of their contributions and support. Additionally, ...
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According to a recent   article by McKinsey & Company , more and more businesses are evolving into fully-outsourcing their facility maintenance needs. This progression has been in effect for the past decade and will continue to expand as unemployment levels remain low and cash reserves remain steady. Total in-house and outsourced facility management is projected to grow more than 6 percent annually through 2024. The need for highly-skilled tradespeople is more urgent than ever. Since the majority of high school students have   pursued college degrees rather than trade schools   over the past decade, our industry, as well as others, such as manufacturing, ...
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When we first began the endeavor of auditing utility bills, we focused mainly upon the electrical and natural gas side of things as our assumption was that we would find the highest rate of return there. Indeed, we certainly have found numerous issues with those bills. However, what did catch us by surprise was in finding that the water bills presented even more opportunities for our clients as it now related to cost avoidance. Most people don't realize that a running toilet or a small drip of a faucet does equate to money down the drain, adding another $300-$500/month to your water bill. Keeping that in mind, along with some utilities only billing water ...
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When consumers see a building under construction, typically, everyone is waiting to see the sign to know what business is coming soon. Signage installation is an exciting milestone for the client and the marketplace. In today’s fast-paced environment, while the signage is critical, it often can be an afterthought due to all of the other moving parts of facility construction. Today’s topic focuses on the impact of including signage at the beginning of the process. A recent example comes from a client who sought to make a more significant branding impact through a larger sign on the exterior of their building. The entire renovation was completed to create ...
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