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We will delve into the skills that modern facility managers need to excel and succeed in their field. This article provides insight into the roles and responsibilities or main functions of facilities managers. So, whether you’re an aspiring facility manager looking to improve your CV and resume or a seasoned professional looking to stay ahead, this article is for you.
Written by Mary - Written: August 7, 2023
In today’s rapidly evolving business environment, facility managers are entrusted with not just maintaining and overseeing a company’s physical environment but are also required to adapt and flourish in the modern age of digitization and sustainable development. They are the unheralded heroes keeping everything running seamlessly, creating the ideal workspace experience, and setting the stage for the workforce to excel.
The role of a facility manager is far from simple, however. The job requires a perfect blend of hard and soft skills. The skill requirements also continuously shift in response to industry advancements and world events. A recent example of this is the global pandemic which has significantly affected the roles, responsibilities, and skills required of facility managers.
Facility management has evolved rapidly in recent years, and today, the role of a facility manager extends far beyond simply maintaining a building. They now play a critical role in the efficient running of an organization. This post will delve into the following key skills and competencies every facility manager needs to succeed in their role:
Effective facility management begins with excellent leadership. As natural leaders, facility managers should be self-motivated, trustworthy, and compassionate. Above all, they should be able to inspire their team to strive for excellence. A clear vision of the team’s direction and a positive example to follow are key components of successful leadership. Crucially, they should be adept at conflict resolution, work delegation, and communication, which brings us to our next point.
Facility managers interact with a wide variety of individuals daily, from maintenance staff and visitors to senior managers and vendors. As such, they need to be able to communicate effectively and handle any concerns or complaints efficiently. Listening is also a crucial aspect of communication. Paying attention to others’ words enables them to address issues swiftly and proficiently.
Organizational skills are critical for facility managers. They need to plan maintenance activities, implement procedures, and keep up with various tasks. From handling maintenance requests to managing inventory and scheduling repairs, a good facility manager needs to stay on top of everything. Prioritizing tasks and balancing resources is crucial for maintaining a smooth flow of operations.
Critical thinking and problem-solving are among the most vital intellectual abilities a facility manager should possess. Facility managers are often faced with unforeseen issues and need strong problem-solving skills to deal with them effectively. This involves determining the nature of the problem, compiling information, devising a strategy, and testing the solution.
Ensuring the health and safety of visitors and employees in the workplace is one of the primary responsibilities of a facility manager. They need to manage a range of tasks to maximize safety, such as maintaining operating systems, managing hazards, planning for disruptions, maintaining documentation of safety procedures, and more.
Is your company prepared for emergencies? Read our article on 7 Key Elements of a Workplace Emergency Readiness Plan
With the continued evolution of technology, facility managers are expected to stay ahead of the curve. Investment in cutting-edge solutions that can enhance efficiency within their buildings is necessary. One trend gaining traction is using data-driven insights to make building operations decisions. According to a survey by MicroStrategy, 61% of companies see data and analytics as important to the business growth strategy. Leveraging modern tech tools such as visitor management systems can give managers a better understanding of how their buildings are being used and improve overall efficiency of the workplace.
Governments worldwide are also increasingly implementing regulations requiring businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. As we enter an era of heightened environmental consciousness, facility managers must push toward sustainability. Sustainable initiatives such as going paperless and implementing a recycling program can often result in significant cost savings over time.
Want to learn tips on how to make your workplace sustainable? Read our blog post on 9 Initiatives for an Eco-Friendly Office.
A good facility manager needs to have an array of skills from technical know-how to leadership abilities in order to be successful in their role. Facility managers are responsible for more than just the basic upkeep of buildings. They ensure the safety of the building’s occupants and ensure that all systems within the building are running efficiently and effectively.
To fulfill their function, they must have excellent communication, organization, and problem-solving abilities. Facilities managers in the modern world should consider safety measures and focus on sustainability. They are also proficient in leading and managing teams and show attention to detail while maintaining a broad perspective. Other essential facility manager skills include adaptability, time management, and commercial awareness.
When it comes to their key functions or primary responsibilities, facility managers are tasked with ensuring the smooth functioning of an organization’s infrastructure, meeting legal requirements, and upholding health and safety standards. They operate across various business functions on both strategic and operational levels.
Their responsibilities may include:
environmental health and safety
facility maintenance planning
employee and facility safety
Facilities management is now centered around efficiency, productivity, sustainability, and leveraging advanced technologies. Here are some tips that facilities managers can utilize to stay on top of their game:
Stay Aware of Government Regulations
It’s necessary to comply with regulations imposed at federal, state, and local levels. These regulations could be about building safety, environmental standards, or carbon emissions. Understanding and staying updated with these regulations can prevent potential legal and compliance issues, ensuring the smooth operation of the facilities.
Keep Up With the Latest Facility Technologies and Trends
Technology, especially IoT and data-driven operations, is driving innovation and performance improvement in the facilities management industry. One notable trend is the hybrid work models which all companies are now adapting to.
Optimize Physical Spaces
The impact of the pandemic has forced many organizations to rethink their office spaces. Facilities managers should optimize physical spaces to accommodate new ways of working, such as remote work and collaboration needs. This will enhance operations and improve employee satisfaction.
The role of a facility manager is multifaceted, requiring a combination of skills to allow them to effectively manage the demands of their role, ultimately contributing to the success of the organization.
More on facility management, get insights on the 20 statistics every facilities manager should know.
To better manage the flow of visitors and ultimately improve safety and security, consider trying out a Visitor Management System. It simplifies the entire visitor management process and gives you ease of mind knowing that all visitors in your building are accounted for.