It is no secret that the modern FM’s role is multi-faceted. While many are born leaders, the facilities management role is one that requires multiple disciplines, often taking professionals outside of their comfort zone, in one way or another. Your success hinges on how well you handle each situation and it is critical that you exude confidence in your decisions. Charged with the task of integrating people, space and process into one solid entity means stepping out of your comfort zone and having the courage to get the job done.
Through dedication and preparation, you set your organization up for success and long-term growth. Let’s take a look at seven items every facilities manager must make a priority to ensure productivity is maximized.
1) Build a Talented Team
A true FM leader recognizes that they should never do it alone. Those in the leadership role owe a portion of their success to those they surround themselves with. With our profession changing at such a rapid rate, facility managers seeking long-term success are encouraged to build a solid team comprised of members from multiple professions, generations and cultures.
Technology-based professionals such as IT add a fresh new perspective and possess a forward-thinking approach to the latest in technological trends. Those involved in people-based roles such as HR possess the communicative skills necessary for workplace manager’s success. Teams possessing these talents are skilled in project management and, when they pool their knowledge, are able to create an environment where people, data, training and technology are all able to work together simultaneously.
2) Make Educating Your Team a Priority
Ours is an ever-evolving profession, where today will always be different than tomorrow. For those who are paying attention, these changes lead to growth. The key is to understand and educate about these changes and the develop new processes along the way.
Once you have surrounded yourself with a solid team of individuals, it is your job to make sure it remains strong. Part of keeping your talent engaged and inspired is through continuous learning. Analyze your organization and its processes, then look to what makes other successful industries successful. Attend workshops, constantly read up on current business trends, network and call huddle meetings where teammates can share their knowledge and findings. Maintain an open line of communication in which everyone is encouraged to stay involved.
3) Communicate Across Every Department
As the facilities manager, it is your job to ensure all individuals come together to work as one cohesive unit. What may seem like a simple project may involve HR, IT, accounting and legal. Therefore, an organization that encourages every employee to stay connected will develop more valuable processes based on the most relevant research and analysis. Every department benefits from such collaboration, strengthening the company as a whole. Which leads us to the next top FM priority.
4) Build an Integrated System to Encourage Collaboration
Companies are comprised of many moving pieces, each of equal importance in contributing to the overall picture. Part of the facility manager’s role is to unify all of the contrasting information through the implementation of relevant systems and processes. Close attention must be paid to the company’s best practices, overhauling any systems and processes that do not maximize success.
For many, technological tools such as a facilities management software and mobile devices play an integral role in bringing data from all departments together. Technology systems will be expected to collect and dashboard data, making understanding of collaboration and productivity metrics readily available. With all data collectively stored, FMs can work with necessary departments to determine which metrics to analyze, make changes and predict future needs.
5) Define and Analyze the Right Metrics
If your facility does not have the ability to determine and properly analyze the right data, it will never have the opportunity to strengthen and grow. If you do not have the data to identify a process that isn’t working, history will repeat itself until someone stumbles upon the truth. With the proper software solutions in place, FMs have the ability to collect data regarding revenue growth (and it’s major contributors), space utilization and facility costs, as well as employee productivity and overall fulfillment.
Valued metrics will evolve and change as the company does, so evaluation of this data will be an on-going process. It is critical that both long-term and short-term goals are clearly defined and updated as the organization grows.
6) Be Able to Adapt
It is critical that today’s facilities manager have the ability to adapt with the moment, much like a chameleon. One moment you may be helping HR plan workspaces for the new hires, while the next you are meeting with the executives for next year’s budget. Leaders in the FM profession should be adept at changing with the moment, with their eyes always open, looking to identify ineffective business processes. Confidence to abandon these practices as business needs change is critical for overall success.
7) Advocate the Value of Your Profession
Ours is the profession often described as the “unsung hero,” rarely remembered for our accomplishments. Yet on many levels, the entire company’s success rests on our shoulders. Regardless of the size of the task, facility managers must make it part of their mission to promote their successes, as well as that of their team. By fostering the FM team’s value, you create relevancy to your profession, both to your executives and the outside business world. Celebrating successes is also a powerful team booster, fueling your colleagues with excitement for future projects.
Whether you have been a part of the facilities management profession for twenty years, or are just embarking on your new career, there is only one thing that remains consistent—change. This makes for an exciting career filled with growth, education and interaction with people spanning all backgrounds. And with technology evolving at a rapid rate, the opportunities are endless for those who are willing to reach out and grab them. Schedule a demo to explore how technology can help you bring about this change.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.