What FMs Can Do To Create Teamwork Within Their Workforce

by Elizabeth Dukes on September 2, 2014

Have you ever watched a winning football team put their skills to the test? While there may be individual players that stand out, there can be no team without all of the parts in place. The team’s success is defined by the talents of the individuals and, more importantly, how the players come together to work as a team. In addition, every great team has to have a great coach. Someone must be able to manage all of the talent. This form of management requires assessing the abilities of the team members, understanding the opposition and how to overcome it and being able to equip the team with the right tools to ensure success with proper communication being one of the most important tools.

A vast majority of successful companies today have grown by making teamwork and collaboration a top priority. “Teams are made up of individuals, but the synergy that a team can generate to become far greater than the sum of its parts is what makes great teams”-John Bowen, Chair of BIFM’s Procurement Sig. Much like the Companies success is reliant on teamwork.football team’s leader, it is the facilities manager’s job to ensure all players have the tools they need to help lead their teams to success. An organization is comprised of many moving parts and it’s success is reliant on each member’s ability to work together fluidly. What can you, as the FM, do to ensure your team is set up for success?

Transparent Leadership

As the workplace manager, the FMs role is a unique one. Facilities leaders play a pivotal role in inspiring their teams to achieve both personal and organizational goals. With communication as the number one tool, these managers must exhibit transparency, outlining clear-cut goals and expectations. Connect with your team members personally through honesty and give your team the confidence they need to be creative, share their ideas and work together to turn those ideas into action.

The transparent leader is multi-faceted, with each characteristic as important as the next. Focus on investigative problem solving and learning from mistakes and triumphs is critical. While playing the “blame game” is never effective, workplace managers must work to determine where mistakes (and successes) were made and help their team learn from each. Speaking openly with the members of your team and seeing issues through to completion builds a solid foundation, while glossing over a setback only chips away at this foundation. “This prematurely shuts down the kind of honest discourse that challenges assumptions and reveals root causes and future opportunities.  Respectful dialogue and relationships are key to creating an environment where candid talk, direct talk about important issues, is viewed as non-threatening” FM&Beyond.

Facilities managers can feel confident in their leadership by surrounding themselves with a solid team of individuals. Sometimes being a leader means making difficult decisions, such as letting a weak link go and hiring those you feel are better suited for the job. The members of your “dream team” may not always be those with the most experience, but rather those you can trust are committed to the cause. You can learn more about how to attract the best, brightest and most trusted in my blog Top 10 Ways to Make the Workplace Attractive for Top Talent.

Team-Building Technological Tools

FMs are often tasked with overseeing multiple projects at once. For many projects, collaboration must span every department, guaranteeing fluidity. This means ensuring there is a consistent flow of intelligible information at all times. Fortunately, today’s workplace managers have access to technological tools that not only enhance, but inspire collaboration and teamwork. Successful facilities leaders must leverage such technology to empower their employees and colleagues.

Through the implementation of tools such as facilities management software (like ours), companies encourage a steady flow of current information, setting their employees up for maximized productivity. Facilities maintenance software enables team members to create work orders, dispatching relevant technicians with ease. Technicians are provided details regarding the issue at hand, with contact information in case there are additional questions. Work order updates are in real-time, so your employees can follow progress as it happens. This tool sets each department up for success, allowing for communication both ways, ensuring each member is going their part. Your maintenance software also enables the facility’s assets to be set up for routine maintenance. If yours is a mobile company, this means many of your tangible assets are on the move. Asset tracking software provides the necessary information to determine the location of devices when it is time for routine maintenance.

Proper space management is just as important as your facility’s tangible assets. Through the use of software modules such as space management and room reservation, workplace managers have the tools they need to ensure space utilization is maximized at all times. HR can determine where the new-hire should sit and collaborate with the FM and IT to ensure the space is properly set up for the new team member’s first day. The module’s metrics provide leaders the information needed to guarantee every inch of space is being fully utilized, and plan future moves accordingly. Armed with a move management module, facility managers have the tools they need to plan any necessary moves. And since employees spanning every department can access the most relevant data at any time, moves of every size are executed efficiently.

Mobility is a Must

It is no secret that we are a mobile society. With our lives always on-the-go, many of us feel naked without our Mobility is a must in the workplacesmartphones, tablets and/or laptops. This is not only true of our personal lives, but of our professional ones as well.

How often have you answered emails while stopped by the train or waiting for your flight? Professional mobility is not limited simply to our mobile devices; employees must have the ability to access necessary information regardless of where they are. Whether your colleague is setting up a conference room for a client meeting or sending off a work order for their printer, they must have the confidence of knowing they are making their decisions based on current information. Mobile devices, coupled with the proper software modules and mobile apps provide your employees the assurance they need.

Whether yours is an international company or a small independent firm, your job as the workplace manager is to ensure the entire team is set up for success. Leading your organization to prosperity means making bold moves and sound investments. Communication across the entire company plays an integral role in this process.


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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