Supporting Client Transformation in a Time of Workplace Evolution

Global Account Director Mike Feeman shares how an ambitious contract transformation project led to closer client collaboration and improved workplace experience.

International Womens Day 2022 #BreakTheBias (4)

When a partnership has been in place for more than 15 years, change can be surprising but also liberating. So, when an ISS technology client requested a new type of contract, the ISS account team tackled the challenge with relish. 

The result? A five-year contract extension designed around a future-proof and complex new commercial model.

“Currently, the client has around 170 locations in 51 countries across the globe, equaling some 8 million square feet of property,” explains Global Account Director Mike Feeman, who is based in New York. “Within that, ISS performs a broad spectrum of facilities management services, from cleaning, engineering, and food services to workplace experience and security infrastructure.”

With such a large and complex account, the work needed to transform the basis of the contract was substantial. It began with a focus on the client’s key objectives: re-designing the service agreement to address its current and future state and enabling efficiencies and cost savings. “The client wanted to gain a strong level of transparency into the cost of operating its properties and occupying and maintaining its portfolio,” explains Mike.

ISS worked closely with the client to overhaul its approach and processes to accommodate the new commercial model. “That required a lot of IT work to create new types of reporting and new dashboards, as well as briefing our Finance team in great detail,” Mike says. “The new system relies on processing a large amount of data very quickly and getting that over to the client within strict timeframes.”


As global workplace teams evolve, ISS’ people are becoming the guardians of connection, collaboration, and culture for our clients.

Mike Feeman, Global Account Director, ISS

Adapting to a Worldwide Shift

Another key development within the contract was an increased emphasis on
workplace experience a timely response to global shifts in the role of the workplace. “Effectively, we had two transformations happening at once,” says Mike. “One was this huge contractual change. But at the same time, we are all operating in a world where the workplace is radically transforming.” 

To tackle this challenge, Mike sat down with the client’s senior leaders to discuss how the workplace would stay relevant to their organization. “As global workplace teams evolve, ISS’ people are becoming the guardians of connection, collaboration, and culture for our clients,” he says. “We have to consider how we evolve if office spaces are not going away, but being re-purposed. How do we make sure we are in front of that curve? And how do we figure out the next wave of value for clients?”

The value workplaces provide could be very different, says Mike: “We will no longer only be managing the physical assets, but developing tools to establish, nurture, and grow a connected and collaborative culture. That was a big part of our dialogue with the client.”

Transforming the Workplace Experience

Mike considers ISS
insight into the global facility management industry a key strength in its partnership with the client. “The account really turned a corner when the client started creating new, experience-based spaces. In fact, its new headquarters is now a flagship service location for ISS in the U.S. so it has been a huge change.”

He also believes that ISS’ workplace experience program, a service for clients that provides strategic advice and an integrated management model, has contributed to the transformation’s success. “Our insights into how the client could institute more of a hospitality- and experience-based workplace were very beneficial. That has become a key differentiator for the client, and it is one of the things that made their colleagues look like heroes within the organization.”

Thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of the client account team and workstream leads from both ISS and the client, the results are already impressive. As a service concept, workplace experience is now in place at 20 key client sites, while 20 new workplace experience managers have been hired. Nearly 1,900 ISS employees have completed placemaker training, and the new financial model has been implemented wherever the client operates.

“I cannot overstate how important collaboration has been to the success of this relationship. It is probably the most highly collaborative client relationship I have experienced,” says Mike. “To mobilize this level of commercial re-design, service uplift, and expansion of scope was a truly challenging task. The management teams and the placemakers who accomplished this are all to be commended.”