Successful leaders surround themselves with effective employees. And facilities managers are no different. If you're in charge of managing facilities, you probably have countless tasks to juggle every day; facing new demands from many directions and departments. A strong group of people by your side to help you tackle each challenge will help you accomplish more, faster.
Therefore, effective facilities management isn't only about natural ability - it's also a matter of leadership. If you can get the most out of your team, you'll accomplish more in the long run.
According to Human Resource Executive Online, many companies neglect their responsibility to mentor team members and help shape them into able employees. Susan Meisinger, former president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, thinks that managers need to develop their talent more.
"It's important to create a culture in which mentoring is encouraged and expected throughout the organization," Meisinger explained. "The traditional definition of a mentor - someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less-experienced and often younger person - needs to be redefined in the workplace, and viewed more expansively."
What does this mean in the FM industry? It means that if you improve your coaching skills, your team will benefit in the long run. Here's how.
Putting employees first The best leaders are the ones who put the interests of their team members before their own. To borrow a sports analogy, when a football team loses a game, a good coach won't throw his quarterback under the bus - he'll take accountability for the loss, identifying things he could have done better. Facilities management should be no different. When an FM team succeeds, the leader should congratulate team members on their good work, and when the group fails, he or she should take the blame and then look for ways to improve.
Focusing on skill development If a facilities management team isn't performing to the best of its abilities, the manager should be willing to step up and help team members improve their skills. Good coaching includes helping employees grasp new technologies and assisting them with such challenges as organization and time management. Look for learning experiences in your daily routine. Rather than scold your workers when they do something wrong, try to help them glean knowledge from their mistakes and improve in the future.
Delegating assignments Once you've developed your team members' skills and prepared them for a variety of challenges, you'll be able to delegate more tasks rather than handle them all yourselves. This will free you up to invest more time into your more challenging work, as well as spend part of your day coaching others. As you develop your workers' skills, keep an eye out for how each person's strengths and weaknesses are evolving. It's important to develop a feel for who can handle which jobs effectively.
Eliminating teamwork barriers As a coach, you'll need to eliminate any obstacles that are impeding your team from succeeding. These might be individual or group problems. For example, one member of your team might have trouble using a certain electronic device or piece of software - that's a relatively easy problem to fix. You might also have a bigger difficulty, like two team members who can't get along and refuse to collaborate together. In any event, it's your job as a coach to overcome these troubles. You'll have to be ready for any challenges that might come your way.