- Sean joined Servest UK in 2003, and his first role saw him become a regular at Sheffield’s famous Gatecrasher nightclub
- Treating the business as your own is an important mindset for success, Sean believes
- Success for Sean is OCS becoming synonymous with being the best
It was back in 2003 that Sean, who originally hails from South Africa, began working for what was then Servest UK as a site supervisor, after studying IT in his homeland.
Over the two decades that followed, Sean led retail and cleaning divisions, and served as Chief Operating Officer at Atalian Servest, before being appointed to head up the new OCS cleaning division.
“To take on that first role with Servest, I needed to move to Sheffield – so I moved in with our cleaners,” says Sean.
“I moved into the house they were sharing, and they taught me how to clean. I started with Gatecrasher nightclub and Bed nightclub, before moving into an area management role, and then moving to the head office in Bury St Edmunds.”
The attributes for success
Since then, Sean’s played a key role in a business that’s experienced sizeable organic growth, but those early experiences cemented in his mind the attributes that are needed to succeed.
“People need to be passionate about what they do, believe in what they do, and treat the business as if it was their own.”
CEO of Cleaning
“You’ve got to have the energy and the edge – the pace at which we operate is relentless, but at the same time, it’s good fun.”
The new OCS TRUE values – Trust, Respect, Unity and Empowerment – sit well with Sean, who believes when you find the right people, it makes everything else significantly easier.
“That’s everything we stand for, as a business, as a cleaning business, and myself as an individual,” he says.
“When you get the right people, who are true to those values, you have a successful business – and I think those values suit us perfectly.”
Putting values into practice
In practice, for Sean, those values look fairly simple – but the impact they can have is seismic.
“You’ve got to be professional, polite and well-mannered – that’s a given,” he says.
“At the start of every shift, you’ve got to be on site before the shift starts. I expect all of my operators to be visible on site, engaging with customers, and making sure they’re getting the best out of their team in terms of productivity and standards.”
And that engagement with customers – which builds unity and trust, as well as demonstrating respect – is essential to building partnerships that truly help people and places be their best.
“It’s important to build those relationships because, together, we’ll achieve significantly better outcomes,” says Sean.
“We do a lot of relationship mapping, from site level all the way to procurement and CEOs, and if you get that right, you can have the right conversations with the right people – you’re not forcing a relationship, but building something that will be beneficial for both parties in the longer term.”
Building solid foundations for OCS
A successful relationship can deliver a number of strong outcomes, made possible by the successful day-to-day delivery of services. Those longer-term outcomes are something Sean is focused on in his new role as CEO of Cleaning.
First, however, comes a period of building the foundations that will serve the new OCS business well over the decades to come.
“My main objective this year is to get things like budgets, succession plans and performance management right, ensuring we have the right people in the right roles, and are giving the right opportunities to those people, too,” he says.
“That will create an incredibly solid foundation from which we can build upon and deliver on our overall business mission.”
That mission is, of course, to be the best facilities management business in the world, making people and places the best they can be – and it’s a mission that enthuses Sean as looks ahead to the coming months and years.
He says, “OCS needs to stand for quality, and I want to help OCS become synonymous with being the best.”