Science may still be baffled by the hypothetical perpetual motion machine, but humanity may have found the closest thing in Jami Norberg.
Sitting across a desk from the director of services at Lansing’s Go Greener, a guest may at first be overwhelmed by Norberg’s seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm, then forced to contemplate when – or if – Norberg is going to take a next breath. She can’t help herself. When Norberg starts talking about providing elite customer service and satisfaction, her passion quickly spirals into a fevered pitch.
“I can’t help it. I have a habit about caring about things, and I have a great time doing what I do. I love it,” Norberg said. “When we’re hired to do a job, we’re going to do it as best as we can. And when we can’t, we’re going to fix it. I try really hard to do things for our clients in a way that I would want someone to do for me.”
Go Greener is a full-service facilities maintenance and management company that offers lawn and grounds service, snow and ice removal, and custodial services and supplies primarily to commercial properties across the Greater Lansing region. In addition, it has a construction division that conducts build-to-suit work across the state.
Overseeing the custodial services division, Norberg has many hats to wear on any given day – trainer, coach, mentor, teacher. In fact, it’s not just hats; depending on the situation, she may be driven to an entire new wardrobe. Pointing out the jeans and sneakers sitting by her desk, Norberg noted that she isn’t above climbing down from her managerial perch to stand shoulder to shoulder on the front lines with her crew if something goes sideways for a client.
“I have no problem going out and doing a job,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t think I’m better than anyone. If I am asking you do something, it’s something I am willing to do, too. Whenever I get a new client, I am definitely going to be there.”
Before even leaving for work each day, Norberg is usually in contact with clients or staff by phone to answer questions or address concerns. She typically will make an in-person visit with a client on the way to the office just to check in and make sure all needs are being met. When she finally arrives at the office, it’s anyone’s guess where the day might take her – meetings, speaking with vendors, checking in at the warehouse.
“Then there’s all those things that suddenly happen that I have no control over and change my day completely,” she laughed.
She tries to engage clients as much as possible because feedback can be hard to come by: If a client is happy and satisfied, Norberg won’t likely hear about it. If she doesn’t hear about it, it means her staff is doing its job correctly.
“A custodian, by design, is a caretaker,” Norberg explained. “You can’t take care of a space with 40 people and not get to know their needs and their wants. Do they want the chairs put back a certain way? Do they have any problems with certain smells? Are there any allergies we need to know about?”
In many ways, Norberg sees her staff as unsung heroes. They go in and do the job that needs to be done, regardless of the circumstance. Because of that, Go Greener strives to be accommodating with schedules, quick to say thank you and extend gestures of gratitude.
“The staff is the most important part of the work right after the client,” Norberg said. “Management is behind them all the way. When staff see that you put your heart into it, they’re going to put their heart into it a little bit more.”