BSCAI Executive Insights: Jill Davie, Chief Customer Experience Officer, TEAM Software by WorkWave

This article appeared in Contractor Connections

Jill Davie started her career at TEAM Software as a summer marketing intern in 1996. At the time, TEAM was a start-up with 12 employees. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Iowa State University, Jill joined TEAM full time in 1998 as a Sales Associate. Over the next 20 years, she assumed various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, Communications, Customer Success and Professional Services as the company grew significantly. Jill also served on TEAM’s Board of Directors from 2014 through 2021 when it was acquired by WorkWave. During her board tenure, TEAM transformed from founder-owned, to employee-owned, to private equity owned. They also acquired five companies across the globe, expanding their domestic and international market leadership.

Currently, Jill serves as the Chief Customer Experience Officer where she is responsible for Customer Success Management, Professional Services and Customer Engagement. She is passionate about operational excellence, engaging directly with customers and attracting and retaining top talent with a people-centric culture.

What are some trends you see developing in the building service contracting industry?

Evolving labor market trends continue to be one of the most talked about topics in the BSC industry. Hiring continues to be higher than the national average, yet the net sum of workers aren’t substantially increasing to meet that demand. This challenge is clearly evident in our recent industry data report, where we found that cleaning companies must hire at least 133 employees a year just to maintain an average headcount of 100 EEs. 

The reality is that – even with much of the world operating in an endemic state of mind – the pandemic increased labor challenges in an industry already prone to high employee turnover. That means it’s more important than ever to do what you can to counteract ongoing labor market challenges. Think of what benefits you can offer to employees (especially if you can provide additional value without impacting your payroll processes or cash flow). Are you positioning your company as an employer of choice? Are you driving efficiencies on the back-end of your business to lessen the amount of overhead you might need to complete business-critical operations? These are all important conversations to be having now and can help counteract some of the challenges associated with ongoing labor issues. 

How would you describe your leadership style?

I strive to be someone that’s approachable, knowledgeable and decisive in all walks of life. Internally, that means I’m always ready to support my team and provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs well. Externally, I’m committed to being an industry leader that our clients know and trust – someone who values them as more than just an account on the books, but takes a vested interest in understanding the challenges they face and how we can help support their business’ success.  

These traits are just as important to me now that I’ve transitioned into my role as Chief Customer Experience Officer at TEAM Software’s parent company, WorkWave. Now, I have an even greater opportunity and platform to champion the needs – and successes – of the BSC community. That way, we can work together to continue to support the essential work being accomplished in even more meaningful ways.  

What is one challenge you’ve experienced in your career, and how did you handle it?

Like many of our clients in the industry, TEAM Software has gone through changes over the past few years. We’ve brought on additional products, like Kwantek and Lighthouse, to add even more value-based solutions to our customers. In 2021, we were excited to announce our own acquisition by WorkWave. 

These evolutions are exciting: they mean growth and resources and additional solutions for our clients. There are also some growing pains as we meld people and processes into a new way of working better. I think what we did really well, both as a leadership team and as a provider of market-leading solutions in the industry, was approach these changes with an open, strategic mindset. That meant being open to change, making decisions based on real needs and long-term visions, and modeling flexibility. 

Any advice for new BSCs coming into the industry?

From my perspective, it is crucial for new BSCs to become a BSCAI member and take advantage of all events, networking opportunities and resources at your disposal. Make those connections with members, with vendors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your providers – yes, that includes your software provider! This industry is really like none other in that everyone is incredibly willing to help a growing contractor and impart their knowledge on successes, missteps and plans for the future.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?

I’ve said this before, but it holds true: the best advice I’ve received I can attribute to TEAM’s Founder, Frank Labedz. He told me, when building a team, to always hire people who are different from you, smarter than you, and who could ultimately replace you. Sometimes a manager is hesitant to think that way, because you’re (almost always) hiring for roles that are below your own in an organizational structure. In reality, though, knowing you have capable individuals who can step into your shoes as quickly as possible can greatly benefit your company’s success and you as a leader. For me personally, it means I know our clients are taken care of the way I would want them to be, and my company is in good hands as we head into the future.