This shift from the physical to the people element has been happening gradually over time in the Facilities Management profession, but as the cost of people, both recruitment, retention and performance, increases, our impact on the company is also increasing.
While not always measurable or clearly a direct relationship, the focus on the workplace environment has meant Facility Managers need more than just technical skills, and it's more than just an efficient layout - it's about employees being motivated and productive.
In addition, Facility Managers can no longer stay in the background, making sure the building systems, office moves and the other responsibilities we have run smoothly.
Related article : The FM Pie
If your organization doesn’t recognize the value of you as a Facility Manager, your team and your profession, you can’t blame them. We don’t typically do a good job promoting our value as Facilities Management professionals.
So, on top of everything else, you need to become an ambassador for the profession and a salesman for your department within your organization.
Why is this important?
The other departments and managers within your corporation who have the attention of senior management and demonstrate the value of what they do are the ones who get the most resources for staff, systems, services and products they need to do their job.
When you aren’t on an equal footing, you will always be on the losing end.
The way to do it is to stop focusing on the costs of occupancy and focus on the value of occupancy. It’s not just about moves and relocations; it’s about delivering a workplace that enhances productivity and occupant satisfaction at the best cost.
So, here are 5 things you can do:
- Learn more about people and what makes them productive and satisfied. You ‘d think your HR department would be on top of this, but they are usually focused on hiring, firing and retention - you should become the expert about how the physical environment influences productivity, whether it’s office configurations, interior design or even amenities provided at the office. There is a very soft side to this, and if you are more used to dealing with technical issues, this may be your biggest hurdle.
- Engage senior department leaders. Being visible and actively soliciting input from them about what you can do or change will not only enhance your visibility, you will become more responsive to the needs of the departments you serve.
- Conduct occupant satisfaction surveys. While your HR department may do employee engagement and satisfaction surveys that include a question or two about Facilities, it isn't enough. A more focused Facilities survey will give you information you can use for your next business case.
- Propose changes. Back up your proposal with evidence, studies and facts and deliver a compelling business case. Even if it involves some studies or trials, you are making progress. As mentioned, become the expert, but you also need to learn how to sell.
- Be brave. Change isn't easy, and making yourself more visible in the organization can have risks if you stumble. But the rewards are worth it.
By doing these things and implementing change in your workplace, you have a positive impact on your organization, the profession and your career.
Related Article : Shifting From Maintenance to Management
“Managing Facilities & Real Estate : 50 Strategies, approaches and Leading Practices”
Over 500 pages. Available in Soft Cover or Hard Cover version.
Order your copy today from Amazon or direct from the Author (click the book image).