Your Role As The FM Is To Create A Positive Workplace Environment

by Elizabeth Dukes on April 10, 2014

You’ve heard it before, you’ve probably even said it yourself… the banter between colleagues: “How are you?”  Response: “Great, it’s Friday!”  or “Only a few more hours to go.”  Why do these statements and others like them cause negativity amongst your customers/employees? And what should you say instead?

Negativity tends to creep up on us when we least expect it. Sometimes all it takes is a bad morning at home or a persistent problem at work to turn our sentiments south. But a negative disposition can translate directly to a decline in productivity as well as employee relationships.

The value of positivity (and the cost of negativity) has a powerful impact on the Facility Manager, whose job is inherently visible to the workforce and whose effectiveness depends upon their ability to engage with the Workplace positivity starts with the FMpeople around them. Below, we’ll look at several specific ways in which a positive attitude can be used as yes another tool in your arsenal.

Facility Managers are Professional Motivators

The efficacy and efficiency of your workforce is one of the key measures by which your success as an FM is evaluated. It is critical that the people working in your commercial space feel comfortable communicating concerns to you so that latent issues come to your attention that much more quickly. One can’t run a large facility by oneself, after all.

Just as a film director is responsible for getting the best possible performance from his or her actors, your role as the facilities manager is to motivate your workforce towards transparency and productivity. Even if certain groups of employees don’t fall within your own chain of command, you can still inspire them to bring their best work. If someone’s performance can positively impact the overall facility, motivating that person is worth your while.

How you do that is largely a matter of personal managerial style, but most studies find that positive feedback & reinforcement is the most effective approach to leadership. Rather than respecting negativity, many employees will resent it (and other executives won’t respond well either). Be someone your team wants to please instead.

Positivity is Professionalism

In many ways, the Facility Manager is also the “Facility’s Face.” As a visible leader within your organization, everything you do reflects on your company — and also on yourself as a professional.
Remember that positivity is professionalism. You want to communicate that yours is a perspective that respects all viewpoints, values your staff’s time and effort, sincerely appreciates your customers’ business, and believes that your organization is on the right track. A positive attitude is inviting. It instills confidence in those who work for you, as well as those who might bring you their business. Projecting the wrong attitude can send signals that detract from your success.

As Goes Your Perspective, So Goes the Bottom Line

Research indicates that a positive corporate culture pays off in a company’s ledger. As a managerial leader, you have an opportunity to help set that tone. Raising spirits can lift profits/results too. You never considered positivity could transfer into dollars and cents, did you?

Data suggests that positivity in the workplace directly correlates with all of the following:

• Decreased workforce turnover

• Higher-quality hires

• Physical and emotional health of employees

• Fewer sick days

• Enhanced customer service, which itself yields higher revenue/sales

• Fewer workplace safety hazards

• Increased job satisfaction

• Higher occupancy rates

• More creative problem-solving

These findings reveal that there is a very real financial price to be paid for negativity at work, not to mention the spiritual, physical, and psychological toll.
A positive outlook, on the other hand, tends to produce a cyclical benefit: those who are happier at work tend to be happier at home too, and vice-versa. That’s a cycle worth getting caught up in.

Optimism Pays Off

Remember why your company recruited you as their FM in the first place: you are a proven problem-solver! Employers need to know that they have a can-do go- getter in positions of leadership, and that includes the FM.

Your company entrusts you to develop creative strategies that put their human and physical facility resources to great use. They want you to be optimistic about the viability of solutions! Never forget that your visionary outlook is of tremendous value to your organization. Make the most of it.

These are just a few key points supporting the value of positivity in today’s workspace. You may also want to read A Positive Workplace Starts With the Facility Manager to leverage that for your own advancement and personal/professional growth. So kick off your day right–help shape the tone of the entire office with your positive attitude.


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.

Capterra Ratings: ★★★★★ 4.5/5