It’s easy to let the people in FM and facilities services fade away into the background. They’re the janitorial staff cleaning the floors and making sure everything around us is pristine. The engineers and maintenance professionals that ensure all operations are running smoothly. The mail services employees that run shipping, records management and so much more. The landscapers that strive to make the outdoors visually appealing. And a whole host of others.

But while they may be unseen, these professionals change lives.

C&W Services employees at Tulane University

The C&W Services team standing out in the community.

Take Wanda, a janitorial cleaning shift supervisor at Tulane University in New Orleans, who forged a long-lasting relationship with a freshman on her first day of school. This freshman became so close with Wanda that she wrote C&W Services asking that Wanda be able to attend her graduation.

And then there’s Juan—a member of the C&W Services floor and carpet crew at a New Jersey-based university—who also made a difference in a student’s life. This student nominated him for an award presented by the dean for his positive attitude, strong work ethic and way in which he connects with students.

Beyond our facilities services team, we’ve seen other companies within the industry share these same moments where often unseen professionals can change lives.

C&W Services employees at Miami Airport

Forging relationships to deliver positive experiences.

Chip Conley—the founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels—found this same inspiration and connection in Vivian, an immigrant from Vietnam who had changed her name from Van Quach to fit in. To Chip, Vivian seemed to enjoy cleaning toilets and hallways and guest rooms, but it turned out that wasn’t the case. What Vivian enjoyed the most was creating connections with the employees and guests around her. Those relationships inspired her to deliver service in a way that came across as joy in her work.

Celebrating those that change our lives.

Many times, facilities management and facilities services employees change our lives, but we don’t even see it. All it takes is reaching out to understand the impact they have on us—and the impact we can have on them. On World FM Day, we encourage you to seek out and celebrate these people far and wide that help us—in some small or large way—every day.

It starts with hello.