What are your goals for 2015 and how do you plan to accomplish them? If you feel you’re a contender for that promotion coming down the pipeline, you’ll want to make sure you are on your A-game at all times. Top FM leaders don’t necessarily work more hours than the rest of us, they just make best use of their time and recognize there is always room for improvement.
If you can master these seven workplace management skills, you will find yourself in a much better position the next time your company is looking to promote.
Every aspect of your facilities management position requires strong communication skills. Whether you are working with the CEO on next year’s budget, consulting with department heads regarding the needs of your customers, or negotiating contracts with vendors, you spend a majority of your time working with people. This doesn't mean you have to be a master in public speaking or writing, but it does mean that you must be able to express yourself well and, on the flip side, learn to listen. Being able to communicate skillfully will take you a long way in your career.
2. Teamwork and Collaboration
Most workspace environments today are built on teamwork and collaboration. The reasoning behind this is that when people work as a team, the creative juices start flowing and more ideas are hatched. We are all human and, therefore, are works in progress. There is not a single person out there who has all the answers. But, the more adept we are at working together and bouncing ideas off each other, the more successful we will all be. Your FM role puts you in a position of leadership, so those around you will look to you for guidance on how to work well with others. So, if you are an individual who works better alone, this is a skill you will most certainly want to look to strengthen.
Very few of us welcome change and unexpected speed bumps with open arms. But the reality is, change is inevitable. Regardless of the size of your organization, change leads to growth, and growth is what we are all seeking. Since no two days are alike for you, you must be able to develop a go-with-the-flow attitude, switching gears on a moment’s notice. Strengthening this skill will no doubt help you in your personal endeavors just as much as your professional.
4. Problem Solving
Since much of your day involves putting out fires and predicting issues before they happen, no problem should be too large or too small for you. The ability to adapt to any situation will take you far in this arena, but to really sharpen your problem solving skills, you will want to continuously build on your knowledge. Aside from simply taking a deep breath and analyzing situations with a clear head, you can arm yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to handle even the most unexpected situations. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about the facility, the industry it is a part of, and the people you serve, the more prepared you will be to lead your team to the top of every situation that may arise.
5. Critical Thinking
The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” Whether you are determining which facilities management software system best fits your companies needs and budget, analyzing financial data to aid the executives in forming the company’s annual budget, or designing the office’s new open workspace, your critical observation and thinking skills must be top-notch. If you do not naturally have an analytical mind, that’s ok. With patience and the thirst for knowledge, this is a skill you can build on.
6. Conflict Resolution
When in a position of leadership, we are often faced with conflict. Whether handling conflict amongst your team or your own problems, you will likely find yourself in the thick of it more times than you wish. Hopefully, when building on your communication skills, you will also hone in on your ability to interact with your colleagues in a way that resolves conflict organically. This begins in the relationship-building stage, where you gain trust and earn respect. By earning a position of influence, you will be more able to serve both your company and the individuals involved, brokering a solution in which all parties are satisfied with the solution.
7. Customer Service
Your role as the facilities manager is centered around customer service. Since you serve the needs of everyone from the executives upstairs, down to your own team and the rest of the employees, the success of the company is dependent on you. To best provide for your clients, it is necessary for you to take a proactive approach, anticipating needs and issues BEFORE they arise. Our recent blog “Learning the Art of Proactive Customer Service” revealed that “using preemptive service strategies can reduce the volume of calls you receive by as much as 30 percent. It also increases retention of customers by up to 5 percent.” Ours is a very competitive market and the only way to ensure you lead yourself and your team to success is by making customer service the pinnacle in your list of priorities.
Whether you are vying for that next promotion or looking to be a pioneer in the workspace management field, it is crucial you master these skills. While some may come naturally for you, you may find you need to work a little harder at the others. With hard work and dedication, you are proving to those around you, as well as yourself, that you are ready to step into that leadership position and see your success soar.