Being a Facility Manager (FM) can be intimidating, exhausting, and very difficult at times. Not only are you responsible for maintaining efficient facilities, but you are also tasked with making sure your team is meeting their deadlines and goals, and you are reducing maintenance and operating costs. If you’ve ever felt in over your head, you are not alone. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been an FM for some time now, it’s never a bad idea to take a step back and evaluate different ways to manage your facilities and your team. You may find some quick fixes that will help alleviate the day-to-day pains you are experiencing. Check out our recommendations below!
1. Align your team's goals with the organization's goals
As an FM, it’s important to understand your organization’s goals so that you can create supporting goals for your team. For instance, if one of your organization’s goals is to decrease their environmental footprint, you could support this goal, within your team, by determining, and implementing, opportunities for energy savings. If your department is helping with overall business goals, upper management will be more willing to provide your team with additional resources and headcount so that you can continue supporting these goals.
2. Communicate with your employees
Just like you, your employees are familiar with working long hours. So, getting to know them on a personal level is extremely important. If they know you support them and care about them, this can help build a more positive culture within your department, which often leads to a more dedicated and successful team.
In addition to developing personal relationships with your employees, you should dedicate time to communicate your leadership plan with them as well. Transparency goes a long way, and if your staff understands what is expected of them and how you plan to lead them to greatness, the entire team will be much more efficient and successful.
3. Prioritize your workload
Whether you want to face it or not, FM’s are some of the busiest people out there. You’re the one on speed dial if anything goes wrong with your facilities, and let’s be honest, that happens more often than not. Because so many things pop up, it’s important to understand and prioritize your workload. Some tasks are more important than others, and if you don’t have a plan, they are going to fall through the cracks and deadlines are going to be missed.
In addition to prioritizing work requirements, it is essential for you to prioritize other aspects of your life. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is extremely important, and increasing your health and happiness outside of work can have positive effects on your work performance as well. In fact, employees who feel a sense of work-life balance, work 21% harder than those who do not.
4. Develop a plan for the worst-case scenario
Like I said, more often than not, issues will arise in your facilities, and it’s important to have a plan in place when they do. Every facility will have a different worst-case scenario. For instance, if you manage facilities for a zoo, a possible worst-case scenario is a tiger on the loose (I’m begging you to have a plan in place if this happens), and if you manage restaurant facilities, a worst-case scenario is a rat infestation (heaven forbid). Anticipating your own potential disasters and developing an emergency response plan can save you a huge headache in the future.
Building a network of industry experts can really help with this. You can discover situations other organizations have experienced and how they handled them. They might even be able to give you detailed plans they have in place to get you started. To begin building this network, there are multiple LinkedIn groups you can join.
5. Ensure proper procedures and systems are in check
In order to effectively manage your facilities, you need to have procedures and systems in place to help you. You should be tracking inventory and assets, creating checklists for complex preventive maintenance (PM) tasks, scheduling PM tasks in advance so that things don’t fall through the cracks, tracking maintenance and labor costs, and more. Keeping all of these important tasks and facility data in one easily accessible location is a must so that you can reference them at any time.
Thankfully, there is a solution. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) allows organizations to easily schedule and track all maintenance performed by your team and/or your vendors. In addition, it stores all information about your buildings and assets and can help you make informed decisions with its robust reporting features. A CMMS can help you determine where each of your employees performs the best, which equipment items are likely to fail in the future, whether you should invest money to repair or replace assets, and more.
If your organization isn’t currently using a CMMS, or if your CMMS isn’t meeting all of your needs, FMX can help improve your facility management process. But don’t take my word for it, check out FMX on your own with a free trial. Don’t wait to become an even better Facility Manager – FMX will give you the tools you need!
Alayna is the Content Marketing Specialist at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not drafting up content for the blog or social media, she is most likely traveling the world or trying new foods in Columbus!