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Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Facilities Manager?

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Facilities Manager?

A good facilities manager must understand the company’s core business strategies.  They need to reduce facility costs (a dollar saved by a facility management team goes to the bottom line). Plus, simultaneously improve productivity and maintain the image of their organization.  They must ensure their office buildings remain competitive with other companies in the same industry.  They must coordinate with vendors, maintain their assets and work with every department in the company.  

That’s a super big job with enormous responsibilities. 

So, do you think you have what it takes to be a facilities manager?  Here are the key attributes required:

An Easy Going Attitude

Believe it or not, this may be the most important trait to being a good facilities manager. If you don’t consider yourself easy going then there is no need to continue reading. It’s important to be flexible and have a natural ability to harbor a ton of responsibility on your shoulders without it making you crumble. Every day is different and problems pop up with out warning.  If uncertainty is a stressor, a different occupation may be better suited for you. 

Keep Calm and FM On

Part of having an easy going attitude means keeping calm in an emergency. The post 9/11 world has forever changed the face of facility management.  It has increased concerns about security and emergency preparedness. If you’ve never faced a true emergency, you might not know how you’d respond. Some people panic; others become instinctively solution-oriented and levelheaded. The ability to stay calm during an emergency is the most effective approach but not everyone has the natural ability to do so. 

Actually Like People

This is another big one. Despite the fact that facility managers deal with equipment, infrastructure and inventory, they also deal with people. Often, managing a building’s tenants is just as important as managing its maintenance. Whether its replying to complaints or managing personnel issues among maintenance staff, facility managers need to be as good with people as they are with tools.

Communicate Well

Communication matters, too. Memos, reports and emails are all aspects of written communication used by facilities managers. To convey a professional image and to maintain clear written communication, managers need excellent grammar and spelling skills.

A Good Leader

Facility Managers are in a sense, project managers of many different projects. They need be able to lead. They are charged with motivating, guiding and coordinating between internal as well as external individuals.

Industry Expert

A good facilities manager should take the time to be an expert in whatever industry they are working in.  For instance, if you’re managing a healthcare facility, knowing about the industry itself will help you have better insight in how the facility should run.  Make sure to know the company’s vision as well. 

Know The Law

You’ll have to know the impacts of the federal, state and local laws in your markets. Whatever industry you find yourself in, there are tons of regulations that apply to the day-to-day operations of the business.  You must be knowledgeable particularly with regards to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).  

Math Is Your Friend

Although you don’t have to be a mathematician to become a facilities manager, it helps if you have math skills.  A large chunk of the job is budgeting and financial planning.  You will abide by the key metrics of your business so the better financial acumen you have, the better you’ll be able to do your job well.   

Solid Computer Skills

A facilities manager needs to have a solid understand of computer programs and technology in general.  Today’s facilities manager uses integrated web-based facility management tools that help to improve office space, occupancy, assets, moves, etc. Also, upper management needs you to be the expert in FM software.  They won’t have time to educate themselves on the latest developments so they will depend on you to keep the facility running.

Likes To Go Green

Keeping up with the latest trends, such as sustainability will be important.  Being a green company is an emerging corporate need.  In the face of soaring energy costs and growing concerns about the environmental impact of existing industrial infrastructure, facility managers must find ways to shrink their companies’ carbon footprint and to do more with less energy. A “green” building saves money, is more efficient and can earn you your LEED credentials.

Have A Design Team On Board

Changing office design affects both the employees and the vacancy rate, which affects how buildings must operate. Facility management faces challenges posed by open office design, flexible employee hours, and varying occupancy rates which impact power use and other considerations.  A skilled office designer from ROSI Office Systems can assist facility managers to develop the greatest uses of space, and design plans for future expansions. Contact us for a free consultation.  

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