At GPE, we believe that high quality, multi-functional spaces allied to customer-centric service provision are ever more crucial to providing our occupiers with the environment that enables their businesses to grow organically within our portfolio, particularly in these challenging times. Hence, we are proud to be considered as one of the most flexible, innovative and service oriented companies within our sector. The motto of the team has evolved over the past couple of years and reflects a truly occupier-centric approach. This shift is best encompassed by the phrase;
“The answer is yes, now what is the question?”
Net Promoter Score 2021
Our Net Promoter Score has risen for the third consecutive year, up from 17.5 in 2017 and 25.3 in 2019. A remarkable achievement, particularly when measured against a decline in the UK industry average index, and we remain committed to continuing to improve and to find new ways of enhancing our occupiers’ experience.
To ensure we are focused on supporting their needs, we believe that working in partnership with a selected group of service partners provides value for money services for our occupiers. To ensure we achieve this, we engage exclusively with selected portfolio-wide contractors who hold an appropriate SSiP accreditation, agree clear Service Level Agreements and Key Performance Indicators as part of the contract procurement process and ensure economies of scale are achieved where appropriate.
As we manage all aspects of our property portfolio in-house, we work closely with our service partners to ensure that they understand our occupiers’ needs. We also enter into three year contracts to help foster a collaborative environment where our service partners invest in the building through their staff by building strong relationships with our occupiers and our on-site staff.
Steven Mew Portfolio Director
"We look for service partners who can be relied upon to provide the highest quality service possible supplied at a value for money level for our occupiers. By spending time working with our service partners, we are able to improve the service by encouraging ideas from everyone in the service line."
One team, a service orientated approach with one goal
Holding quarterly meetings to review performance, feedback is sought from our Occupier Services Managers and together we are able to consider evolving best practice. Through this collaborative approach we provide an ever-improving service to our occupiers.
Within our managed portfolio, we look after more than 350 occupiers across 47 buildings. Our occupiers are hugely diverse, from Fortune Global 500 companies to sole traders, working across a variety of business sectors. Consequently, at the onset of the pandemic we moved swiftly to producing a practical and usable guide to what we have implemented at our buildings to ensure they remain safe and available for use. Furthermore, after implementing the necessary measures to ensure that our occupier's wellbeing was central to our efforts, we openly shared the playbook with our peers in the industry to help them in their efforts to ensure they are also providing safe and efficient workplaces to their occupiers.
We are committed to ensuring we keep our occupiers, employees, service partners, guests and visitors safe during the pandemic, and have created a playbook to correspond with government guidance as originally outlined by the government in May 2020 and updated as we enter the second lockdown phase.
To that end, we have developed our “Return to the Workplace” playbook to illustrate the measures we have implemented across our portfolio to facilitate safe use of the portfolio at this time. Within it, we outline the operational changes to the building’s common areas required to facilitate adherence to social distancing guidelines and to provide all parties with sufficient information to prepare colleagues for the changes to the building in advance of a gradual return to the workplace.
Through consultation with our in-house technical services, Health & Safety and senior management teams, we outline the various revised operating protocols for access and egress and safe circulation through the building, deliveries and courier plans, cleaning regimes, M&E services and visitor booking systems that will help ensure a safe working environment for your staff.
Whilst it is uncertain if the current lockdown will be extended, and as we continue to operate within government guidelines, we produced this document to assist our Occupiers identify the duties and responsibilities inherent on all of us to ensure we continue to work safely and in partnership. We have included template risk assessments for occupiers’ use in the appendices.
As more guidance is provided, this document will continue to evolve as we collectively seek to navigate our way through the current circumstances. Whilst we are all eager to return to a semblance of normality, it is crucial that health and safety compliance remains the guiding principle for us all.
"GPE has been really on it. There isn't any more they can do. I know they will support us and we will work together to increase numbers in the office over time. We feel very supported."
"GPE should keep on doing what they are doing and continue to be flexible and collaborative."
"Developing the Playbook is a nice, clear, concise compendium of "this is what we are doing" in every single area. We can use it to inform our own decisions. I'm confident that GPE is continuing to look out for our interests as well as their own - they succeed when their Occupiers succeed."
"We work closely with GPE and we see them as a trusted partner. This gathering of feedback is really important."
David O’Sullivan Director of Occupier and Property Services
"It was heartening to discover through the survey that even in these unprecedented times, our Occupiers continue to feel supported by GPE."
We achieve more together
We consider that a close working relationship with our occupiers is vital to our mutual success. As a result, we take full responsibility for maintaining the positive relationships we have with our occupiers and manage all aspects of our property portfolio. As part of this process, our Portfolio Managers formally meet every occupier twice yearly and a member of our Executive Committee meets with our top 20 occupiers annually. The ongoing conversations we have with our occupiers enables us to understand what they want to achieve from their space and shapes how we deliver it.
We are committed to excellence
When our occupiers need us, we make sure we are there for them. That’s why we run a dedicated helpdesk and hold regular Occupier meetings to receive feedback and solve any issues.
We have a dedicated GPE Occupier Services Manager allocated to each Occupier, ensuring a human face is available at all times.
In addition, we produce bespoke guides for each building, which provide information on such issues as:
- M&E services
- Access and Security
- Fire, Emergency and Health & Safety procedures
- Occupiers’ Responsibilities
- Guidance, policies and procedures regarding building works
- Environmental Management
We also offer a dedicated web portal to help occupiers with the day-to-day running of their premises. The portal enables us to communicate effectively with our Occupiers about the building’s services, the regular occupier meetings, service charges, any planned maintenance work and primary GPE contacts for the building.
sesame™, our smart workplace app
In a highly competitive marketplace where customer experience is a key differentiator, our Occupier & Property Services team has radically improved our occupier engagement through partnering with Smart Spaces by connecting our entire portfolio through an award winning app, named sesame™, which dependent on the building, provides our occupiers with the ability to access the building using their smart-phone rather than plastic cards, to control their own lighting and air conditioning systems and a dedicated lifestyle manager available to them on a 24/7 basis providing a suite of exclusive offers ranging from restaurant bookings to an art advisory consultant. Creating community engagement and providing high levels of customer service is essential in today’s climate as we seek to maximise occupier satisfaction.
Implementation of the app has enabled us to engage directly with our occupiers to provide concierge services across the portfolio, real-time train and tube departure boards, to promote health and wellness initiatives through a number of on-site activities, to advocate sustainability and to provide access to over 245 e-magazines and newspapers, publications, including e-books, games & podcasts, to facilitate B2B opportunities within the diverse business sectors and to create a community of approximately 20,000 users.
To demonstrate the diverse scope of available services and offers available to our present and future occupiers as well as the the agent representative community more effectively, we created a short film to show the service and functionality we can provide to our occupiers as part of the GPE family.
Innovation and Design
Every year the BCO Awards recognise excellence in the design of commercial offices – there are five different categories in each of the BCO regions. At the London Region Awards, GPE won two awards, the first at 160 Old St in the category of “Best Refurbished Recycled Workplace”. The judges commented that the building “is an exceptional workplace crafted with vision and innovation’
The second award was an additional prize for innovation and GPE were the proud recipient of the 2020 award.
“This year I was delighted that we were awarded this award for the focus on Occupier satisfaction through the inclusion of smart technology with sesame at 160 Old St.” James Pellatt, Director of Workplace and Innovation
We are proud of the progress made to date, yet continue to innovate across every function and we relish the challenge of continuous improvement and evolution.
Our 2017 Occupier Survey
Engaging with our occupiers and understanding their needs has always been our key to our being able to meet our occupier needs.
In 2017, we conducted an independent ‘voice of our customer’ feedback programme of our office occupiers. The purpose of the study, which involved 15 face-to-face interviews, 85 telephone interviews and a web survey was to both gain an insight into our occupiers’ satisfaction and to obtain feedback from new occupiers about their ‘moving in’ experience. The satisfaction of our occupiers was then measured against an industry benchmark. We were pleased that 88% of our occupiers rated their overall satisfaction as good or excellent in comparison to the index at 76%.
With action plans in place at both a portfolio and individual property level to address areas we could improve on, as part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we will be undertaking a follow up survey in 2019.
ITN, a producer and provider of news content, has its headquarters at 200 Gray’s Inn Road, broadcasting from the building on a daily basis. Professional, proactive management of the building on a 24/7 basis has fostered a positive relationship, so when we sought to remodel the building’s reception area, collaboration with ITN made it possible.
In return for newly refurbished offices elsewhere in the building, ITN agreed to surrender their office space on the ground and first floor, to allow us to create a new reception and in-house café for the benefit of its staff and other occupiers of the building.