The summer months are filled with cookouts, fireworks and family fun. A time to relax and soak up the sun. For parents, the children are out of school and looking for something entertaining to do. Many find it difficult to stay motivated and focused on their careers with so many distractions. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With a little creativity, managers can create a healthy and productive work environment for their employees and, in turn, help breath new life into the company.
Facilities management is a demanding profession that requires a diverse set of facility management skills in order to be successful. The consistent professional, interpersonal and even emotional demands that FMs face on a daily basis seem to fly from all directions.
Engage Your Employees Through Conversation
Regardless of the time of year, communication is essential to your organization’s survival. A recent survey found that 61% of workers are more likely to seek employment elsewhere if they feel disconnected. Why not ramp things up a little during the summer months by including your employees in more business conversations? Keep them in the loop, regarding the company’s performance, as well as the overall goals and vision. Have conversations with them as to where they fit into the overarching vision and what changes they feel could be made to reach the organization’s goals. Also, consider what could be done around the office to create a more productive, engaging atmosphere? You may be surprised at what you can collectively come up with! And, by getting to know your teammates, you learn what makes them tick, allowing for a workspace shift that increases satisfaction across the board.
Work Together To Set Challenging Goals
There is no denying that a clear set of challenging goals provides motivation to work hard and stay focused. Work with your facilities management team to come up with a list of goals that are both challenging and fun. Be sure to communicate these goals in writing so everyone is on the same page and has something to refer back to.
Create An Incentives Program
It is a proven fact that humans respond better to positive reinforcement. Use this to your advantage by creating an incentives program to reward your FM team for their hard work and successes. These rewards do not have to be financial; get creative with your ideas. It can be something as simple as a thank-you card or a congratulatory email for a job well done. For those larger accomplishments, treat the team (or individual) to a cookout at the park or cocktails at the local pub. Find out what it is your team enjoys and create a rewards program around those interests.
Provide The Tools They Need To Succeed
No matter how many incentives you offer, your team cannot be productive if they do not have the proper tools. When conversing with your employees, be sure to ask for their input on what is working and what is not. Changes could be as simple as fixing that faulty copier or as complex as an office re-design or new software implementation. Regardless of the suggestions, take these requests seriously, as nothing is more frustrating as not having the facility management tools necessary to do your job well. Set your team up for success, not failure!
Flexibility Breeds Trust
To be a leader in the facilities management field, flexibility is key. While you must have the ability to quickly switch gears when faced with a speed bump, you can also incorporate this flexibility into other aspects of your workplace. Have your employees been asking for the opportunity to work from home more often or have more flexible hours? If your organization has the resources, summer is a great time to test out flex-spacing or telecommuting. Not set up for this? How about giving your employees a little more input over their schedule by allowing them to come in late one day a week or having one “flexible day” per week where they leave early? By giving your teammates measured control over their schedules, you empower them and show you trust them enough to get their job done without someone looking over their shoulders.
Everyone Needs Time Off
We are all guilty of it—we get involved in our work and goals and forget to take time for ourselves. But, studies show that an employee that takes time off has a clearer head and is less likely to burn out. Since you are the person employees look to for guidance in your company, lead by example. Take time off for yourself and take small breaks throughout the day. This lets your teammates will know it is okay to take time off and you come back refreshed, as well. This is also a great time to let your employees gain experience in other aspects of the company. Since you may need people to fill in while others are away, give them this opportunity to learn new things and take on fresh challenges. This keeps everyone engaged and excited about their position.
Summer is a time for everyone to relax and re-group. Get creative in your approach to people management; have your FM team help in managing themselves. This approach may take some initial re-structuring, but can promote ownership and empowerment in your workforce will reduce your workload in the long run. A facility management software can help making time off even easier with mobile accessibility so you're not worried about missing much. Schedule a demo to find out more.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.