As workplace leaders we work closely with others each and every day. The very nature of our profession is about bringing people together and meeting their workspace needs. While this is part of the job description, it doesn't always come easy. I spoke with three facilities leaders on how they attribute much of their success to the teams they work with, and how other FMs can use collaboration and communication to shape their workforce for the better.
CRE & FM Teamwork For Facing Unique Workplace Challenges
Darlene Frantz | CFM, LEED AP, Executive Director of Corporate Real Estate & Facilities Management, ManTech
Janel Abbass-O'Neill | Senior Facilities Manager, ManTech
"I think the success is the fact that we have many, many meetings. We're just constantly educating on how we get from point A to point B."
"That cross-collaboration between everyone is what I really think pulls us together and like Janel said, it's that communication. We've got great teams here at ManTech."
From Washington D.C., Darlene and Janel work closely together at ManTech. We sat down to discuss some of the unique challenges and opportunities they have encountered while working for a major government services firm. What is the source of their success? Communication combined with education.
They have found that a people-first shift in their culture has proven to attract top talent and retain their current employees. They are also happy to see that the design of the workspace has become such an important topic of the C-Suite, and they're paying more attention to the impact of real estate and interiors on their workforce. And while this is a positive shift, it puts even more emphasis on the facilities team to almost over-communicate updates and needs with other departments.
The only way they're successful is because of teamwork. In today's world, there isn't much room for miscommunication or errors in understanding between departments. There are so many moving parts from site selection, lease negotiation, construction planning, occupancy predictions and day-to-day facilities management. If your team isn't on the same page and doesn't work well together you're never going to get across the finish line.
Being Resourceful Together: The Value of Facilities Management Consulting
David Reynolds | CFM, FMP consultant, FM-CONSULT-CREATE & Global Facility Management Alliance
"If you have a relationship with a consultant then it's possible to put a quarter in the meter and get a direction on something, or some clarity on something, the same way you'd use a colleague. But it gives you the width, the breadth of what FM consultants can provide and are ready and interested in providing."
By chance, David discovered the world of facilities management from a book in a library, and has never looked back. As an FM consultant and the current President of the FMCC, David has seen the industry from all angles, and is proud to be part of such an influencial group of people.
The knowledge and motivation of a whole lot of people can meet together in workplace management. When considering the built environment and how so much of its impact revolves around people, FM really has the ability to touch every department. David believes facility managers should play an integral role in every organizational strategy and objective that involves the workplace structure and how people in the space interact with that structure. He explains that facilities leaders should continue making relationships a priority not only with FM consultants but with other department heads to ensure fluidity later down the road.
David mentions how it's almost unavoidable to stay sharp as a facilities manager. The nature of our work lends itself to flexible, quick learners. He says workplace leaders should focus on perfecting these three things in their career: being reliable, understanding applied risk, and become confident in making rigorous judgements. David believes that FM has a key role in businesses achieving their goals and outcomes and that success is measured by how well they work together, directing a variety of people and their responsibilities to follow a strategy where the business plan takes us.