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Crowdsourcing and how it can boost Occupant Morale

Human Resources Business Concept

By crowdsourcing the people who use buildings, they can be built into a internal community, that generally improves overall conditions. However, there are some challenges to recognize.

 

As mentioned before, there are tangible—often financial—advantages to crowdsourcing feedback from your building’s Human Sensor Network. But, beyond the way these solutions immediately impact your bottom line, what sorts of intangible advantages can inclusive decision making have for your organization’s bigger picture?

 

The University of California, Berkeley has this to say on the topic:

 

“Shared decision making can improve the quality and acceptance of decisions, bolster worker motivation and self-esteem, increase sense of ownership and improve interpersonal relations with employees.”

 

And, the train of thought is pretty logical, especially when it comes to facility management; we spend a good half (or more) of our lives at the office, thus making it among the most influential buildings in our day-to-day lives. So, if there’s a way to make it feel more like a shared space—one driven by a sense of community and common purpose—morale should improve accordingly.

 

These adjustments can be minor; simple acts like polling employees every week or two on temperature, lighting, sound, etc. can help establish that their comfort is a priority—even if feedback all comes back positive. Additionally, when changes do need to be made, taking time to give background on how and why they’re being implemented can help mitigate the risk of employee annoyance during transitions, since they’ll understand why it’s a priority.

 

But, as UC Berkeley notes, there’s a “tricky balance” to be had from pursuing these goals. In many cases, individuals represent personal interests which may not always be compatible with the larger organization’s goals or resources, and which—in practice—could even inflict discomfort on those around them.

 

For instance, personal preference on temperature can often vary from day to day, with some reporting chills while others report overheating. Finding the right balance—while making sure these reports aren’t the result of uneven building ventilation or faulty insulation—can often require compromise and personal discussion with those affected.

 

Conversely, problems reported by an individual may sometimes be indicative of a larger, unreported issue among all tenants. Headaches from poor lighting, as an example, may be affecting all workers in an area, while only one is able to articulate his or her source of discomfort. If you believe an issue might be larger than a singular report, be sure to get feedback from others about their experiences on the matter.

 

Ultimately, the facility manager must weigh input against the status quo to determine how, and when, to make changes. But, using all of the tools in your toolkit—including employee feedback–ensures that these decisions are as intelligent as possible.

 

What types of decisions to you involve your tenants in? Have you found their feedback helpful?

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