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Top 5 New Year’s Resolution for Facility Managers

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Things to do in 2013Here is a list of New Year’s resolutions every Facility Manager should follow over the next year. You’ll notice that the hot issues like Sustainability and Emergency Planning aren’t listed. Why? Because they are fundamentals of the job.

This list reflects a new way of working for many Facility Managers who are dealing with technical and tactical issues on a daily basis and have a hard time getting their heads up above water.

If you are a Facility Manager in that position, your New Year's resolution should be about using business skills to improve all the other things you’re responsible for. (See my FM Pie Graphic)

1. Spend time on Strategy & Planning.

It’s pretty tough to be successful without a plan of some sort. You probably know what you need to do, but are having a hard time executing. Start the year off with a plan that strategically identifies who what where how and why you'll do the things you do in the upcoming year. Just because your title says management doesn't mean you shouldn't also be strategic when doing your job. Developing a strategy and strategic plan, whether for what you want to accomplish by the end of the year or what you want to get done next week, will be a big step forward.

2. Learn from Others

A lot of Facility Managers seem to think that because they're in their position, they should know everything about facilities. The brutal fact is that it's too complex and complicated for you know everything, and you need to rely both by other experts in on things you learn from other managers in the same position but with a different set of experiences. Network with your fellow facility managers in the area, subscribe and read to a variety of facilities related magazines, join your local Association (Here is my blog with a listing), get involved and actually attend the facility management conference. You'd be surprised how many other facility managers have already found solutions to some of the problems you're now facing.

3. Give your staff training

The reality is that you will be successful when you have smart knowledgeable staff working for you. Assuming you've hired the right people in the first place, now is the time to look at how you can give them training and education that will help them achieve the results you want them to achieve. Identify the needs as well as their interests and work towards enabling them to learn more. And that doesn't just mean about facilities specifics, that includes general business skills.

4. Review your organization and staffing for improvements

Whether you think the status quo works or not, it's actually your responsibility as a manager to constantly review your organizational design, staffing, processes, systems and priorities to make sure you haven't overlooked opportunities to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and value for money. This may include some benchmarking, networking and discussion with others about how they do things, real looking at everything from the bottom up is if you do it brand-new, and then figuring out what you need to change, strengthen or improve.

5. Reposition yourself within your organization

Whether you're the head of a large facilities department or you are the entire facilities department, you need to reposition your profession and your self not only to help you achieve more within your organization, but to advance your career. You will always be competing against colleagues in other departments for resources and attention from senior management. Develop an image for yourself and your department and promote your successes and even how you handled failures. Develop your skills in presenting and writing and then use those skills, along with solid evidence of your department's success and value, to convince others in your organization that facilities is an important part of the company.

While these New Year's resolutions may seem tough to achieve in a year, if you start early and be diligent, you’ll make great progress, whether this year or the next, to advance your profession from a tactical to a strategic role and improve the results you deliver for your organization.

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