To be an effective workspace manager, one must build a positive and productive environment. Your priority is to ensure the company works like a well-oiled machine, with everyone working together. To do that, you must build a solid team of individuals, committed to each other, as well as the organization’s goals. For a majority of businesses today, teamwork and collaboration are the primary ways of achieving these goals. To be an effective leader, facilities managers must work to ensure their customers have the tools to work both individually and as a team, with trust and communication at the center of it all.
Trust is the Cornerstone of Every Successful Team
Your team is likely comprised of many unique individuals, so how exactly do you get everyone to work together and get along? Every working relationship is built on trust. You must know that each member of your team is committed to each other as well as the company and its goals. And it is critical that they know they can trust you, not only to get the job done, but to stay one step ahead at all times. Honesty and a strong commitment to the task at hand must be evident from all contributors, and communication is key. This trust and communication begins with you.
Facilities Managers are the Cowboys of the 21st Century
Regardless of the size of your organization or the industry you are a part of, conflict and unexpected issues are inevitable. An effective leader views these situations as a positive, turning them into a tool to get their people involved, open up the lines of communication, and predict future problems. The facilities manager is in the business of conflict management, defined by FMLink as a “long-term, ongoing process of managing difficult situations and disputes.”
It is not enough to simply resolve the issue. We must use each conflict as a learning tool—a building block in strengthening our processes. The cowboys of the Old West developed their own set of rules to ensure their success and survival. When a problem arose, they gathered around the campfire for a “mock trial,” each working together to determine a solution. This collaborative effort ensured everyone stayed honest, working for the good of the team. An open line of communication was maintained at all times, resulting in a solid team built on trust. Each member knew their teammates as individuals, allowing them to work fluidly together. They understood each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and adjusted their work style accordingly. With so many moving pieces to maneuver, FM teams are the Workspace Cowboys of the 21st century and would do well to model their workplace processes after their counterparts.
Today’s facilities management teams must wear many hats and wear them all well. The success of your organization depends on your ability to communicate and resolve issues before they become a problem. Many managers simply resolve problems as they come up. But for those who wish to be pioneers in their field, this means heading off issues immediately and using each situation as a learning tool to help anticipate future issues BEFORE they arise.