5 of the Worst Traits in a Facilities Manager Candidate

by Elizabeth Dukes on June 7, 2016

As the person in charge of overseeing the workspace that supports your workforce, your facilities manager has an important role in your organization—and one that has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Offices aren’t anything like they used to be and neither are employees. No longer are workspaces a sea of cubicles with ho-hum decor, and no longer are employees hidden behind volumes of paperwork and unsightly filing cabinets. People aren’t tethered to their desks by internet cables and telephone cords, and few obey a 9-to-5 schedule.


Today’s workspaces are bright and vibrant, filled with ergonomic furniture, creative workstations and plenty of areas for collaboration. Employees are on-the-go, working from multiple locations throughout the office, a coffee shop down the street or their home on the other side of town.

Maintaining a modern office means equipping your entire workforce with the sophisticated workplace technology they need to work from anywhere and be more efficient than ever before. It means managing software that provides visibility into day-to-day operations so leadership can manage their teams from any location. Ultimately, the value of an organization’s employees and assets have skyrocketed, and much of the responsibility rests on the shoulders of your FM.

In other words, when hiring a facilities manager, choose wisely.

Not everyone has what it takes to be a dynamite workplace manager. While skills and experience are important, it takes a special kind of personality to handle all of these moving parts with finesse. To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled the top five personality traits to avoid when hiring your next FM:

1. Shyness or Reserved Demeanor

Part of your facilities manager’s responsibility is to coordinate maintenance or new project initiatives with a multitude of vendors, employees, department heads and executives. Put a wallflower in this position and it’s almost a guarantee the line of communication will get dropped somewhere—and that could derail your organization’s ability to make necessary changes or updates.

Traits you want: outgoing, gregarious, personable.

2. Stubborn or Set In Their Ways 5_Worst_FM_Candidate_Traits_Image.jpg

A stubborn facilities manager who isn’t willing to consider what’s outside their wheelhouse is downright dangerous for your organization’s future. Technology is the No. 1 catalyst for change in businesses today. The tools, software, hardware and applications available to you are in a constant state of evolution, and organizations must be adaptable if they are to leverage this technology to contend in the now global economy. Your FM is the person responsible for forecasting trends and harnessing the power of technology to make this possible.

Traits you want: adaptable, open-minded, curious.

3. Laziness

Facilities managers have several obligations to juggle, hence the growing demand for sophisticated management software. They must track and manage every employee and asset under your roof. As mentioned above, they must also be vigilant enough in their tracking to identify trends and forecast future needs. And this doesn’t even include the industry awareness they must possess to ensure your organization is keeping up with front-runners. You can’t afford someone who doesn’t have the passion or drive to rise to the occasion.

Traits you want: proactive, energetic, attentive.

4. Arrogance

Because your workplace manager is a critical link between your facility and employees, they must be easy to talk to, and likable. Much of their role requires using and managing information shared by employees to improve your facility’s operation. As you already know, they will also be the liaison between vendors and your organization.

Confidence is important, but arrogance is offensive. Especially when major change will impact employees, this is not the person you want at the helm, and as a representative of your organization—they could damage your reputation as a brand and employer.

Traits you want: authentic, confident, humble.

5. Overly Accommodating

You want your workplace manager to be affable and empathetic to the needs of your employees, but you don’t want them to be so kind they fail to be seen as an authority figure. Friendly, personable and confident—yes. A pushover? No. They must be able to make demands and see to it that employees follow their orders. Like any member of the management team—a balance between authoritative and amiable is ideal.

Traits you want: determined, decisive, assertive.

Most importantly, always trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem to jive well with you, it’s likely others within your organization will feel the same. Your ideal candidate should display a balance of positive personality traits that will enable them to work well with others, see complex initiatives through from start to finish and embrace new trends to keep your facility in a state of constant improvement.

Discover the many benefits of teaming up with a great facilities manager, and other secrets to driving your business into the future in our free guide, 4 Ways Innovative Leaders Stay Ahead of the Technology Curve.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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