The importance of the “Culture Fit”

A few days ago, Myfm were in discussions with one of our most important clients concerning our future relationship. Whilst it was clear that they valued our dependability of service and strong commercial expertise, what was mentioned as a factor that singled us out from the competition is how intimately we understood the inner workings of the client’s company; their needs, their procedures, and how our associates were able to easily adapt to the various processes and idiosyncrasies unique to their business. In short, we understood the “culture fit”.

But what is the culture fit? And why do businesses consider it so important?

A Company’s “culture” can be a particularly difficult concept to define, it does not fit easily into any understanding of either the technical acumen or “soft skills” that all employers and HR departments consider, but it can still be quantified and objectively assessed.

Every company, and particularly large ones, has a unique modus operandi build on an exceptional set of interactions between management structure, the communications channels between employees, and company values. If for instance, you had a company where management believed in creativity, open collaboration and free channels of communication between departments, it would be a mistake to take on employees and line-managers who believed in an introverted, compartmentalised working culture.

With larger service providers, the company culture becomes intrinsically tied to the kind of service that the clients expect, which is why the “culture fit” goes from being an HR issue to a performance issue. In areas such as contract delivery, clients prefer the familiarity that comes from a uniform company culture and “method” of doing business.

Crucially, such an understanding of cultural norms in a given workplace allow for more stable and intimate working relationships to be formed between service provider and client.
When working in business to business relationships, the significance of cultural cohesion cannot be understated. The ability to fit, neatly placed into your client’s operational structure, almost as if you were part of the firm yourself, is invaluable to the long-term stability of any business relationship.

Introducing Maxcene Crowe

There is no doubt that Maxcene Crowe, Myfm’s newest Director, will bring a cool head and an experienced hand to the business. Maxcene’ s breath of all-round experience in FM ensures she is perfectly placed to provide end to end solutions to her clients, but her expertise really shines in the transition and mobilisation space. Her unique skillset is the ability to problem solve and see beyond the issues, communicate at all levels and deliver solutions consistently.

In her own words, Maxcene notes that she took and interesting route into the FM world.

“My career started in retail manufacturing at the age of 13. I was a separator (the person who separated pieces of a garment into bundles for machinists to sew). By the age of 16, I was promoted to quality assurance and supervised remote piece workers and factories that were completing orders on our behalf. I would also carry out administration and accounting (processing and payment of wages, tax calculations and piece work rates). An interesting start to my career. My first involvement in FM came after I graduated with a BA Hons in Business and Psychology in 1995. I worked in the estate’s management department of a healthcare trust as a contracts administrator and lease car manager (managing a fleet of 140 vehicles), this was my first involvement in FM. My first FM role stemmed from this experience and launched my FM career in earnest 1997. I worked for Xerox as an Assistant facilities manager supporting the team to manage total hard and soft services for 1000 occupants in 250k square ft. of prime real estate in Marlow.”

Maxcene’ s extensive background in service support and interim provision attracted her to Myfm, as she has been eager to work within a platform that is flexible, adaptable and competitively priced.

“I became an interim in 2004, I developed and worked with a very similar business model to what myfm is today. For many years I have operated as a single entity working for clients for fixed periods of time and then moving on. I must be honest and say after some soul searching and financial pain dealing directly with Clients, I decided it was time to change my business model in order to scale and grow the business, as well as a solution that would give me a back-office solution and resource platform to offer multiple Clients FM solutions simultaneously. This was what attracted me to Myfm, the back-office platform and access to a professional vetted resource pool across a breadth of facilities management areas of expertise.”

Whilst moving from associate to Unit director does represent a considerable change of pace, Maxcene is confident that the positive and productive relationships she builds with the people she works with will not change.

“My relationships with Clients and associates stem from a position of openness and honesty. It is very important for me early in the relationship to understand the clients and associate’s needs, pain points and get personal, this helps establish trust and confidence in my ability to deliver a solution for them. I am very friendly and welcoming. I like to work collaborative 95% of the time. The other 5% tends to be the more contractual and commercial elements which need to be negotiated and dealt with firmly but fairly”.

We warmly welcome Maxcene to the Myfm family and are excited to get to work.