Soft Services Manager, Global
Maddie joined Mace looking to start a career in the facilities management (FM) industry. Her time on the Mace Graduate Development Programme has given her a great foundation and supported her move from the UK to Dubai where she now oversees the workplace experience for a global financial client.
- How did you get into what you do?
Before I graduated with a degree in english and drama, I did work experience at an international summer school and found that I was really interested in the management of the facilities and operations of the school house.
I started researching the best way to enter the facilities management (FM) industry at a higher, more corporate level. I was drawn to Mace’s Graduate Development Programme, as it was well established and award winning and offered exposure to the whole lifecycle of a construction project from development to operation.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
During the graduate programme I was placed on the Standard Chartered Bank account, to shadow the team and gain FM experience. By the end of the first month I was placed permanently on the account and quickly took ownership of several of the operational processes.
Seven months later I was promoted within the account to assistant facilities manager, and then in early 2019 I was offered the opportunity to move from the UK to work in Dubai as the soft services account lead for Europe, Americas, Middle East and Pakistan, where I continue to support our workplace approach today.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
I love leading workplace experience because it’s focused around communicating and being ‘human centred’; listening to what your employees want and implementing initiatives which can hugely improve how happy someone is at work. I like the balance of being driven by data and trends in the industry so that through feedback sessions with my colleagues we are able to create something which is tailored for that client and business.
Having a good workplace experience supports wellbeing, offers a safe space for employees to work, contributes to increasing productivity and can help build a culture that employees want to be a part of. I find every aspect gives me a great sense of purpose and is really rewarding.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- Good communication skills. You need to be able to communicate effectively with your team members and stakeholders. As the industry embraces the impact that ‘workplace’ can have on productivity, facilities management teams are focussing on how they can create the optimum workspace for the client and their teams by listening to feedback from every building user, and the team delivering the experience helps shape that approach.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- Starting off my journey on the Mace graduate scheme was fantastic as it allowed me to gain knowledge on all parts of the business. It really set me up well for my first client contract, so I would highly recommend starting there if you can. From there, my advice would be just to say ‘yes’ to as many things as you can. Even if you don’t think you can do something, if you take things on willingly, put yourself forward to solve problems and come up with solutions then this will really get you recognised. Having a hard working and ‘can do’ attitude will take you far.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?
- I am looking forward to continuing to gain international experience and working with different cultures to further my knowledge of working across borders and in different markets. Within the next year I would like to start working towards achieving an accreditation in facilities management. My next step - I hope to progress to account manager.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I used to play badminton for Sussex when I was younger. Surprisingly, despite being somewhat clumsy, my hand- to-eye coordination skills aren’t bad when it comes to sport!
“A good workplace experience supports wellbeing, offers a safe space for employees to work, contributes to increasing productivity and can help build a culture that employees want to be a part of. I find every aspect gives me a great sense of purpose and is really rewarding.”