We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again, and again): Your facilities management team is one of your organization’s biggest assets, and your facilities leader is one of the C-suite’s greatest allies. Few individuals have the potential to impact your bottom line, empower your workforce, satisfy employee expectations and increase your organization’s operational efficiency quite as much as the person who heads up facilities management. To say facilities leaders have a big role is putting it mildly, and to say they need your full support is an understatement.
But how can the C-suite ensure facilities leaders have everything they need to help you meet your business objectives? Today, we’re going to discuss what you can do to help them be most effective — and where it counts most.
Empower Them to Make the Big Decisions
One of the most important jobs of a leader is the ability to make quick decisions. But the only way to become a gifted decision maker is to be gifted with the responsibility to make your own judgment calls.
You hired your facilities leader because you know they have what it takes to get the job done, and you trust them to make the everyday choices you don’t have the time or expertise to make yourself. Don’t make them feel micromanaged by second-guessing everything they do. Allow them to make decisions on their own, and they’ll undoubtedly excel in that role.
Bring Them Into the Boardroom
What’s the best way to impress your company’s chief priorities upon a facilities leader? Loop them into the conversation. By inviting your facilities leader into the boardroom, they can experience firsthand the pressures and objectives you face every day. More importantly, as the boots on the ground of your facility, they can offer insight and ideas the rest of the C-suite may not have considered.
Equip Them With the Right Technology
Even the brightest, most experienced, most agile facilities leader in the world would be limited if they didn’t have access to the right FM technology. You can’t expect a facilities leader to achieve greatness on outdated technology any more than you can expect a sculptor to create a masterpiece with a dull chisel. Sure they might get the job done — but they’ll be less efficient and less effective than if you’d equipped them with the tools they need. Invest in an IWMS proven to achieve great results, and proper training, and they’ll make magic.
Help Them Hire an All-Star Team
A powerful Facility Management software is critical, but so is the support of a great team. Ensure your facilities leader has the budget and HR assistance to hire the best of the best. Make sure other teams within your organization understand the facilities leader’s role and are prepared to support their endeavors, too.
Offer Opportunities for Continued Education
When an employee is as important as a facilities leader, the idea of sending them to conferences and training sessions several days a year can seem counterintuitive. If they’re so indispensable, doesn’t it make more sense to send a more junior employee in their place? Or better yet, let them tune in online instead? After all, you need them available for any FM emergencies.
But here’s the thing: This is exactly why you need to offer them the opportunity to continue learning, training and enhancing their facility management skill set. Seminars, software user conferences and trade shows will help them grow and get their questions answered by industry leaders. They’ll return inspired, full of fresh ideas and ready to drive positive change in your organization.
Your facilities leader has a lot on their plate, but with the right tools, support and education, you can empower them to exceed expectations, overcome challenges and help your organization reach even its loftiest goals.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.