What are the Qualities of a Facility Manager?
A look at the definition of the term Facility Management gives one a good idea that this is not the typical walk in the park kind of job. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA), for example, defines it as “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure the functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process, and technology”.
This means not only is the Facility Manager expected to keep the property under his care in top shape (and maybe even better than he met it), he also has to create an environment of optimum value to everyone who uses the facility and the business they do while there.
Here are 10 qualities needed to function as a Super Facility Manager:
1. Multi-tasking Skills
A facility manager must be an expert juggler. He must give his undivided attention to the many issues that need his attention but at the same time keep occupants, owners, and regulatory persons happy.
While he is, on one hand, monitoring the routine maintenance of the generating plant, he must also ensure that the procurement team delivers Mrs. Adebayo’s new 15-liter water heater in time to be installed as promised. Success in one task is not an excuse to fail in the other.
2. Natural Problem Solver
He should not view problems as a setback but an opportunity to learn and make life better for the property users at the same time. Challenges of varying degrees will arise sometimes even on a daily basis. He is not afraid to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions that are safe and acceptable to all parties involved.
3. Proper Work Ethics
Personal accountability, taking responsibility for his actions and that of his team.
Integrity, delivering as he promised.
Efficiency, getting the job done even with lean resources.
No Facility Manager can go far without good work ethics.
4. Organizational Skills and Delegation
His job is never done. He must be able to keep the facility running smoothly even when he is not there physically by the proper delegation of tasks. Jobs should be planned well in advance with the relevant contact information, resources, and safety checks in place. The ability to coordinate several projects at the same time is indispensable.
5. Solid Managerial Background
Apart from technical and engineering tasks, he is in charge of preserving the value of the property. He needs to rely heavily on various professional qualifications and business training to enable him to handle all that is required of him. He must be finance savvy because he deals directly with the factors that affect the bottom line.
6. People handling Skills
This is probably the most important skill he needs. He must work well with a variety of people and know how to handle them. The stubborn staff, the angry occupant, the children who keep playing football on the lawn and the sleeping security guards. He must remain positive no matter the provocation especially from customers and occupants.
7. Hands-On Approach to Work
Facility Management is a practical profession. He must be willing to get involved and not just sit back while his team does all the work. Daily inspections, routine and unplanned checks are all a part of his schedule.
8. Leadership Skills
The ability to inspire or influence others towards achieving set goals. The Facility Manager must be actively involved in the hiring, training, and supervision of those who report to him because at the end of the day the buck stops at his table.
9. An Ambassador to their Employer
A simple “hello” with a friendly smile goes a long way. He should be approachable and sincere with customers and his team. Respectful and a good listener even to seemingly trivial issues. Always available to solve their problems and generally putting his best foot forward. Especially in residential facilities, he is the face the occupants can identify with not the company he works for.
10. Ability to see details
He must pay attention to details to protect both residents and staff. The ability to recognize a hazard before it turns into an accident is a priceless skill that is both taught and developed with years of experience. This ability can and does save lives.
This list is by no means exhaustive but clearly gives a good guide on what is expected of Facility Managers. Your ability to incorporate these skills in your daily activities will surely earn you the title of a Super Facility Manager.