Celebrating our brand ambassadors – Thembinkosi Hlabangani shares his iServe with pride @Servest experiences

This year marks 11 years since Thembinkosi Hlabangani, Gauteng South Branch Manager, Security, joined Servest. In just a little over a decade, Thembinkosi has managed to achieve much as he moved up the ranks through several roles within the company. Reflecting on his humble beginnings as a parking guard before joining Servest, Thembinkosi shares his […]

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This year marks 11 years since Thembinkosi Hlabangani, Gauteng South Branch Manager, Security, joined Servest. In just a little over a decade, Thembinkosi has managed to achieve much as he moved up the ranks through several roles within the company.

Reflecting on his humble beginnings as a parking guard before joining Servest, Thembinkosi shares his experiences with the company and how Servest was the stepping stone he needed to a brighter future.

“I started working for Servest on 1 May 2010, and indeed I have held a number of roles during my time with the company – Security Site Supervisor, Site Manager, Junior Operations Manager, Operations Manager and Senior Operations Manager. A year and half prior to joining Servest, I worked as a parking guard, doorman, porter, controller and then later as a golf cart driver.”

Thembinkosi describes his role as branch manager as very interactive, as there are a number of people to engage with and activities happening at all times demanding his full attention. He also has to play the role of an instructor, ensuring that his team is compliant with all SOPs, policies and health and safety requirements.

“My work is mainly operational and there is always something going on; therefore, one needs to constantly be on the ground and hands on. I have to ensure that operations are running smoothly, address on-going customer service improvement, coaching and ensuring we comply with SOPs, policies and Health and Safety issues. I also manage and conduct site-related incident investigations, compile daily and monthly reports, together with risk assessments and attending CPF meetings.”

Thembinkosi is also responsible for the induction of new colleagues, conducting security awareness campaigns and staff development as well as ensuring that colleagues are trained and well-equipped.

“My days at work are never the same, but they usually start with me checking branch posting status, following up on outstanding issues and my colleagues, and client queries. I also conduct site and client visits. This is followed by attending to meetings and incidents, branch administration and finance intervention arrangements and deployment on other days.”

According to Thembinkosi, the dynamic nature of the facilities management industry, along with a dependable and solid team who support each other, are just some of the things that make his work exciting. He also enjoys his time on the ground and engaging with his colleagues.

Reflecting on some of the lessons learned from the pandemic, Thembinkosi says that Covid-19 has really shone a spotlight on the importance of hygiene in the workplace, especially when it involves measures such as social distancing, sanitising and the wearing of masks that have now become the norm. He adds that solid communication played a critical part during this time.

“Communication is a key part of our operations, and during the pandemic we saw levels of communication increase between colleagues. Constant communication allowed us to engage with colleagues who were booked off sick; it also allowed colleagues to report symptoms and for us to keep in touch with those who were placed in quarantine.”

The pandemic did, however, present some challenges for Thembinkosi and his team, especially when it came to engaging with clients. While the security division fell under essential services during lockdown Level 5, some clients did not fall within this category. This made communication between the two quite difficult, and as a result Thembinkosi had to rely on technology; it was through technology that these challenges were addressed.

Looking at the opportunities Servest has presented to him over the years, Thembinkosi hopes that the training and development programmes offered at Servest remain as a means to afford others the opportunity for growth as well.

When he is not safeguarding our branches, Thembinkosi enjoys spending time with his family and watching soccer matches.

Thembinkosi Hlabangani’s attention to detail, hands-on approach and natural ability to lead others are what make him a cherished Servestian.

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