The 5 Essential Characteristics of a Successful Facilities Manager

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on October 10, 2017

Following is a guest blog from Okappy, a B2B innovative communications platform for job management. Okappy combines social and market network technology to communicate and collaborate with employees, subcontractors, across different sites and with different clients. Okappy has often been used by facilities managers to keep on top workflows and manage jobs. Naomi Ellis from Okappy takes a look at the 5 most essential facility manager qualities every facilities manager must possess to truly excel in their industry.

Managing the workspace comes with a broad scope of services to be looked after and the challenges faced along the way! Facilities Managers must be able to juggle multiple tasks at any one time, whilst remaining calm under pressure. We take a look into five of the most essential facility manager qualities to be an FM leader.

Five essential facility manager qualities for success

A great facility leader knows how to encourage their employees and use their strengths.

1. Influencer

There is a difference between being a good manager and being a good leader. A manager is able to control resources to achieve given tasks, whereas a leader will influence and encourage their followers to achieve a common objective. Facilities managers need to be able to do both seamlessly.

2. Passionate problem solver

The desire and ability to problem solve is one of the most important facility manager qualities. According to Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong, will go wrong. Don’t discount the possibility for that one critical asset to malfunction at the least convenient time. A successful facilities manager will not only have to capability of problem solving but must love the challenge of overcoming these hurdles and figuring out solutions!

3. Thirst for knowledge

The Facilities Management Industry is constantly shifting due to new technological developments and changes to the built environment. Successful FM leaders possess the facility manager qualities that enable them to learn and evolve with these changes. This might mean attending extracurricular conferences, seminars and listening to related podcasts on the commute to stay up to date with industry news and developments. It is the responsibility of Facilities Management Leaders to stay motivated and inform others of new ways to improve the facilities they manage. Whether a particular Facilities Manager has come from a technical background or not, learning new skills is always a necessary measure in order to excel in the industry. Facility management leaders must feel confident implementing new technologies in order to push the workplace forward, such as iOFFICE or Okappy.

4. Flexibility

A great facility leader knows how to be flexible and adapt when needed.Being a perpetual student comes hand in hand with flexibility. Due to the constantly changing and multifaceted nature of Facilities Management, it is vital for leaders in this role to have facility manager qualities that enable them to go with the flow and adapt along with these changes. This flexibility also has to be thought of with regards to the ever-changing preferences of the stakeholder being served. Despite the specification of a completed renovation being followed exactly, it is common for the outcome to not satisfy the needs of a stakeholder and to consequently be changed weeks later. These occurrences are not to come as a surprise and should be dealt with calmly and diplomatically.

5. Top people skills

It is vital for a successful FM Leader to be an excellent communicator. This means excelling in both verbal and written communication skills is one of the most critical facility manager qualities. A Facilities Management Leader will have to liaise with everyone. They must be confident in presenting problems and solutions to a boardroom environment. They must also be able to deal sensitively and appropriately with a variety of stakeholders including directing vendors, contractors and employees. Negotiation skills are a must; particularly when it comes to talking with suppliers and working with peers in the facility. Utilising communications platforms such as Okappy can help to bridge communication gaps between workers and stakeholders.

For anyone in a customer-orientated position on a facilities team, the five facility manager qualities discussed above are vital. Start putting these facility manager qualities into practice today and see how you excel in the FM marketplace. This article can also help provide an indicator for what to look for when hiring for or developing your Facilities Management team!


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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