Facility Managers Need the Proper Tools to Follow through on Commitments

by Elizabeth Dukes on January 27, 2015

As the workspace manager, you’re likely pulled in a thousand different directions. The CEO looks to you for help ensuring the budget remains balanced, technicians must be provided the resources to complete their tasks in a timely manner, and the entire workforce requires the proper tools to effectively perform their jobs. The FM’s promise is to deliver results, no matter the obstacles. Therefore, it is necessary to employ a number of tools and techniques to ensure that commitments to your team are honored.

Communicate for Success

Out of all tools available to the FM, those which improve or increase communication are the most valuable. YouCommunication is key for facilities managers success are managing a workforce, which relies on guidance, support and an expedient decision-making process. If you cannot answer their questions or show them where to find the answers, you aren’t honoring your commitments.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of options for keeping your communication needs up to the ever-increasing standards of today’s workplace. Mobile communication in the form of phones, tablets, wireless internet, and SaaS are critical in making instant communication a reality amongst your team. E-mails, texts, and even social media allow for your team to stay in constant contact, which only serves to facilitate a more streamlined system for work flow and allows your employees the freedom to stay active and informed, not tied to a desk, waiting on a response. The communication of the workforce allows for all parties involved to have information and access to help. With the communication running smoothly, in all directions, the FM will have his workforce engaged and performing at their highest level, thus honoring the promise of the FM to his staff and bosses by delivering results.

Talk to the Team

Once your team has all the tools to communicate with ease, make sure what you are saying is motivating and inspiring. Not that you can’t provide constructive criticism regarding your employees’ performance (in fact you should), but choosing how to approach your workforce may make the difference in moving your workers forward or out the door.

The old adage of “do unto others” can be applied to these scenarios, as it is important to think about how you would want to be approached, if the roles were reversed. Your workforce is the company’s most valuable tool; make an effort to be aware of the situations and tasks your team is faced with. Have realistic expectations but make sure to always show room for positive growth. Also, get to know your employees on a (somewhat) personal level. Too much familiarity can undermine your position, but being able to relate to your workforce builds trust and strengthens the overall team. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson

Space Should be One of Your Most Valued Tools

Although some organizations are moving towards smaller office models, the physical space still exists and is one of the most important components for a successful FM. Managing how and when the space is used helps the bottom line as well as the structuring of the daily office activities, allowing for a more productive workforce.

It is also necessary to have a handle on the physical assets within the office space. Regular inventory of materials and assets is, again, a positive for the bottom line, but also allows for more creative planning. Knowing the usage and turnover of the physical assets helps decisions about future investments or preparations for potential location moves.

Lastly, spaces should have physical appeal. Work on making your office space an area where workers want to be, instead of simply where they have to be. Some minor luxuries can go a long way towards making the organization feel unique and a cut above the rest. What Workspaces Do Your Employees Consider Must-Haves? offers you an inside look at what is important and inspiring to your workforce- a key component to retaining your valued employees, which is, in turn, a key component to showing results with your workforces’ output.

Technology Ties it All Together

So, what do improved communication, work relations, and space management all have in common? They can all be improved via the use of technology. Take your space management issues, for instance. Space management software, designed for facility managers, is designed to keep track of how and when space is being used, in real-time, so planning for space can become an automated process that anyone can add to or check in on. And, because you have integrated your systems with your mobile technology, the space can be reserved, monitored or utilized from any location.

Equally, move management software can make an office move much easier through automated tracking, accounting, and organizing methods. This kind of organization and automation is what often makes the difference in the overall success of the workforce. With these tasks handled through your IWMS software, your team is able to focus on the bigger issues. It also allows for the time to ask those personal questions and get to know your staff. Not to mention, technology, simply attributed to it’s nature of updates and upgrades, will keep you progressive and at the forefront of your industry.

A facilities manager is committing to their team with the expectations that the team is committing to them and the goals of the entire team. But, without the proper tools, workloads stay at top capacity and burnout can occur, which is the death knell of any organization. Make sure you and your team are properly prepared and success at every level will follow.


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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