One of the most important things to bear in mind in facilities management is that you can't do it alone. Your quest to manage space in the corporate environment is not a one-person job - it's a complex endeavor with a lot of moving pieces. If you want to manage your company's facilities effectively, you have to have a team of skilled workers who can do your bidding.
Unfortunately, heading a team can be very difficult, especially when your employees are feeling disengaged or unmotivated. According to recent research, this is often the case. Dale Carnegie Training recently released the results of its employee engagement study, and the firm discovered that three main factors drive employees' engagement at their workplaces: belief in senior leadership, pride in their companies and, most importantly, workers' relationships with their immediate supervisors. That last one is crucial - without bosses they can trust, workers will never be effective.
According to Dale Carnegie, if an employee is dissatisfied with his or her immediate supervisor, there is an 80 percent chance that the worker will be disengaged. Therefore, it's obviously crucial as a manager that you foster solid relationships with all of your team members.
"The results of the employee engagement study are compelling because it confirms what our clients have been telling us for the past 100 years," said Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training.
So how will you do it? What strategies will you use to motivate your department? It won't be easy, butthere are a few tactics that might help you get through to your team members.
Take accountability, share credit
One of the marks of a good leader is the ability to take accountability for mistakes. When a quarterback has a bad game, he shouldn't blame his coaches, receivers or offensive line - he should hold himself accountable. Being a facilities manager is no different. As a leader, you need to grab the reins and take control of your own decisions. But at the same time, when things go well, you should be willing to praise your employees for their good work. Even the smallest bit of recognition should help your team members feel valued.
Align team and individual
An important part of leading a team is making sure everyone's on the same page. The best way to do this is to make sure that each individual's goals align with those of the team. Whatever you're trying to accomplish - whether it's space utilization strategies, productivity benchmarks or green initiatives - make sure that every single member of the team is invested in making it happen. You may even consider offering rewards to employees are especially instrumental in helping the team meet its goals.
Take interest in your employees
While you want to align your employees and have them all working toward the same goals, it's also important to note that they're all individuals. All of your team members have their own personal lives and their own career goals, and you should appreciate their uniqueness. Ask your employees from time to time how their families and friends are doing, and consider taking a moment to talk about their professional development and their career goals.
Communicate, look and listen
If you make all your decisions as a facilities manager unilaterally, you probably won't be a popular boss. To be a good team leader, you need to be able to incorporate feedback from your employees. Whenever you hold meetings or communicate via office-wide emails, you should be just as good a listener as a manager. If you're willing to consider the opinions of your team members, that mindset will take you far.
Technology plays an important role, not just for facilities managers but for employees. Explore how a facility management software can optimize the productivity.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.