FMs Must Have The Courage To Strive For Results And Leave The Glory Behind

by Elizabeth Dukes on September 23, 2014

The role of the facilities manager is perhaps one of the most valuable positions in the company. Tasked with duties ranging anywhere from ensuring the day-to-day operations go off without a hitch, to aiding executives in budgetary planning and new process implementation, there is never a dull moment. Regardless of the size of the operation or how many employees you serve, there are an incredible amount of details to manage. Oftentimes, as long as everyone has what they need, you will breeze through these tasks with ease but get little recognition for the effort put forth to make things run so smoothly. When something goes wrong, though, and it inevitably will, the FM is the person everyone turns to.

While the FM’s role is often that of the unsung hero, it is important to recognize the value of your leadership. While praise delivers that “feel good” moment, it does not solve issues or help you achieve goals. Those who have risen to the top of their industry did so through hard work, dedication and courage. Achieved goals and company triumphs are the biggest encouragement of all.

Facility Managers and Their Ten-Gallon Courage

“Facilities Management is at the heart of cost-effectiveness, productivity, efficiency and the interpersonal issues iStock_000012251176_Smallof employee quality of work. These managers are now dealing with air emissions, indoor air quality, water quality, water use restrictions, and multiple waste management issues that were not even thoughts their previous counter-parts dealt with.” -Jesse Stallone of Much like the cowboys of our past, FMs are moving into unchartered territory more than ever before.

Fortunately, there are many resources. Facilities management software, for instance, is available to help our Workspace Cowboys lead their companies to success. The key is in finding the data to convince C-suite of these sound investments. As with any investment, there are multiple concerns and risks associated with such an investment. How do we know everyone will use the new tools? What if it doesn’t work the way we expected?

All of these questions are valid concerns and it is the facility manager’s job to predict and analyze these points BEFORE bringing your ideas to the executives. The ebook section of our website is a valuable resource in tackling and evaluating potential issues. Change is necessary for growth and it is the workspace manager’s job to bring knowledge and confidence to this change.

Getting Your Team Onboard

Very few people welcome change with open arms. But, to stay relevant in your chosen industry, change is the only constant. It is difficult enough to convince the decision-makers of technological investments and process modifications. So, what about those who stand to be affected the most by these changes; your customers?

Your FM role requires you to examine procedures from all angles, including that of those deeply entrenched in the day-to-day activities. The most effective way to get your team onboard, with any change, is to confer with them through the entire process. The consultation process provides you valuable insight, not only in necessary adjustments, but also in how to communicate these changes once they are set into motion. After all, the implementation of procedural and technical changes will prove unsuccessful, if there is no follow-through.

Whether you are new to your organization or have been leading your team for many years, change will often be met with resistance. It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to seek out support for your ideas and follow through with them to the end. It takes even greater courage to stand by your recommendations and decisions, when everything doesn’t go as planned. Even your biggest supporters are likely to resist when new ideas are shared and integrated into daily procedures.


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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