Opinion

What makes a good facilities manager

By Tunde Obileye

There are certain skills and strengths that are most in-demand in the modern FM marketplace. The attitude and aptitude that a good facilities manager requires to take on each day’s challenges are the points to be highlighted.

Numerical Know-How

Most facilities managers are not economists or mathematicians but budgeting and financial planning are nevertheless important parts of the job. A good facilities manager needs to know what the key metrics are and how to calculate them. The more financial insight he or she has, the more effective a manager he or she will be.

Even if mathematics was not a favourite subject in school, he can learn the skills needed to understand high-level business budgeting. Critical thinking goes a long way too. In addition to numerical know-how, employers look for someone with an analytical approach, a commitment to getting (and improving) results, and good old-fashioned business sense.

Legal Understanding

A good facilities manager doesn’t need a law degree any more than a mathematics degree, but having an appreciation for the impact that state and local laws have on his facility is important. Whatever industry good facilities managers find themselves, the chances are that numerous statutes and regulations apply to every aspect from HR to day-to-day operations. Understanding occupational Health & Safety laws are especially important in the discharge of his duties.

Cross-Networking

Companies consist of numerous divisions charged with specific sets of responsibilities. Often, these areas may overlap. That’s especially common in Facilities Management because the physical structure interacts with almost every activity that happens inside it. That’s the reason a good FM needs the ability to network across the entire organization with IT, HR, administration, other executives etc. It’s Important to take a step back and think about the ways his job complements the work others are doing in the company. Striving to improve those relationships is a tremendous benefit.

Decisiveness

A good facilities manager needs to be decisive because systems and processes in an organization need to run smoothly, comprising of set standards to guide the staff and end users. The manager has to ensure these are in place to help workers complete routine jobs successfully on a daily basis. A good facilities manager follows the plan and takes remedial steps when disruptions occur, as he needs to ensure that the organization achieves the targets and objectives it has laid out.

Tech Savvy

The FM world today is more technology-reliant than ever before. The more quickly a good facility manager embraces it, the more valuable he becomes in his field. Everything from room reservations to asset monitoring and facility maintenance is managed through the use of software these days and increasingly on smartphones and tablets. Information technology plays a vital role in the way facilities managers communicate with their workforce, vendors and end users. A client or employer will assume his facilities manager to be good in the use in FM software as the former, generally, don’t have time to educate themselves on the latest developments, and will rely on a good facilities manager to keep abreast of developments in technology.

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