6 Facilities Manager Job Skills That Will Get You a Raise

by Elizabeth Dukes on July 13, 2016

Remember when employers insisted on annual reviews to assess your performance? They were almost always followed by a raise. But in the wake of the Great Recession, many companies changed their routine to conserve funds. Ever since, it seems like if you want a raise you either need to ask for it directly, or make a performance impression that raises eyebrows.


For facilities managers, performance-based raises are particularly challenging because the job landscape has changed dramatically over the last several years. It’s not just about managing space and assets anymore. Now you’re responsible for optimizing every possible workplace function, forecasting future needs, identifying key trends and, most importantly, leveraging technology to help your organization become more efficient, productive, scalable and competitive. Whew.

It’s already a challenging career path without having to find ways to improve your performance. But raises don’t get awarded for complacency. What exactly will it take to win the attention of your upper management and earn a pay bump?

1. Proficiency in IWMS

Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) aren’t considered luxury anymore. They are a critical component to the effective management of facilities, which means facilities managers better be experts at navigating them. These systems reduce the cost of resources, optimize space utilization, create fast and customized reports, streamline facilities processes and automate numerous responsibilities. In other words, it’s almost like having a clone to take on your busy work. Facilities managers who are proficient in IWMS operation can juggle more responsibility with greater accuracy, and that’s sure to turn heads.

2. Expertise in Data Science

The rise of technology in the workplace has triggered a virtual flood of data that organizations are still struggling to contain. Those who possess the ability to make sense of it will noticeably outshine the rest. Data science is an evolutionary skill characterized by one’s ability to extract knowledge or insights from data to improve processes and make quick, calculated business decisions.

The key to doing data science efficiently is automation. Facilities managers don’t have time to analyze swells of data and derive key findings. But they do have time to learn how to use softwares and applications to do it for them. If you develop the skills to translate reports into action, you will undoubtedly garner attention from upper management.

3. Data Security Experience 6_FM_Traits_Get_You_A_Raise_Image.jpg

Want to know the easiest way to lose your job? Be the cause of a data breach. Data is incredibly powerful and, to quote Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Facilities managers need to show the c-suite that they don’t just know how to use data, they also know how to handle it, care for it and protect it. That means never assuming your facility isn’t a target, factoring in building security and visitor management software to ensure internal/external on-site threats are minimized, investing in more than basic antivirus software to safeguard networks and tracking assets — especially those harboring sensitive information.

4. Strong Interpersonal and Relationship-Building Skills

Facilities managers are the main link between an organization and the countless vendors that support its infrastructure. They also are responsible for ensuring the work environment properly supports employees, which means they must have a close working relationship with their workforce. Strong interpersonal skills are a must. The more likable and communicative a facilities manager is, the more successful they will be at bridging gaps between vendors and employees, and nobody will be more delighted by this than HR and upper management.

5. Strategic Thinking

Keeping up with today’s competitive market means staying ahead of trends, forecasting future needs and tirelessly thinking about ways to better position the organization. As technology continues to advance, facilities managers are moving from a reactive state of mind to a proactive one. To do so, they must exercise their strategic thinking skills and prove their ability to roadmap in a way that leverages trends, but also capitalizes on current and unpredictable opportunities. Facilities management software is the only way to gain the insight necessary to pull off this level of strategic thinking.

6. Adaptability

Now is not the time to become rooted in outdated practices. It’s the time to experiment, innovate and fearlessly look to technology for operational support. Be adaptable and open-minded. Executives understand that technology is the future, and they’re looking for tech-savvy management to help them use all these sophisticated tools and softwares to outpace competition and improve profit margins.

Looking to brush up on your facilities management skills even more? Sometimes the only way to know what your CEO wants in their facilities manager is to know what they don’t want. Check out this article on the five worst traits in a facilities manager and avoid them at all costs. It will also benefit you to read about the seven things CEOs want facilities managers to know.

We can’t make any promises, but by aligning your skills with upper management’s expectations is your best chance at being awarded that raise you’ve been chasing. At the very least, you’ll have a case for why you deserve it.

You know you need IWMS to help you achieve the results you want. Now it’s time to convince your boss. Learn how in The Ultimate IWMS Buyer’s Guide: Selling Workplace Management Software to the C-suite.


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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