Whether you’re a newbie to facilities management or a seasoned hand, it’s always a good idea to take stock of your day to day activities and make sure they enable your facility to run efficiently. Take a look at our list of four pitfalls facilities managers must avoid at all costs and make sure you don’t fall into any of these traps…
Pitfall One: Not Delegating
Sometimes it’s all too easy to think it will be so much easier to complete a task yourself rather than get your team to do it. Don’t fall into this pitfall - it’s a sure why way to take up masses of your valuable time and distract you from important tasks you need to complete. Your team is there to lighten the load and ensure the best work is produced. Moreover, if you feel you’re doing them a favor, the opposite is in fact true. You’re taking away their opportunity to learn, develop and grow, as well as increasing your own stress and workload.
Pitfall Two: Ignoring Complaints
It’s rare that a good facilities manager ignores complaints on purpose but there are times when requests for action from building occupants can slip through the cracks, either because of a heavy workload or a poor complaints procedure. However, not dealing swiftly with complaints can be a serious pitfall.
Not only can it lead to discontent and leave you with a poor reputation, but it can lead to serious consequences. Seemingly small issues can escalate quickly if not dealt with quickly, for example, a leak or damp leading to large scale water damage. We’ve all dealt with the annoying occupant who complains about the same thing again and again; having dealt with it once, you might be tempted to move them down your To Do list. But just remember that complaints about uncomfortable building temperature and the like can be symptoms of a bigger problem, such as a clogged HVAC filter that can lead to costly repairs down the line.
Pitfall Three: Poor Worker Management
When you’re an FM, you’re not just managing a building; you’re managing a whole host of staff and contractors too. If your people management skills aren’t up to scratch, it’s likely that the building won’t be either. Take the time to create an organizational system that tracks what everyone in your team should be doing on both a day-to-day and project basis.
Clear communication is important to ensure that everyone who plays a part in the running the facility knows their responsibilities and keeps on top of them. Additionally, whenever you have a meeting, always follow up with an email that bullet points the actions for each team member so there can be no misunderstandings. Finally, when someone does a good job, make sure you recognize it by saying thank you. If they feel valued, it will pay dividends in their motivation, loyalty and work ethic.
Pitfall Four: Not Staying Compliant
Ever been under pressure to get a job completed and then realize you need a pesky signature on the work order before you can get it done? It may not happen everyday, but when situations like this arise. There can be a lot of temptation to just go ahead and get the job done and get the signature after. Who’ll know, right?
Don’t fall into this trap, the fallout, if something goes wrong, can be catastrophic and guess what, it’s your neck on the line. There can be many reasons why this well-intentioned move comes back to haunt you - what if a mistake gets made? It’s you that gave the go ahead and so your problem. Or perhaps, the project gets abruptly canceled… no-one gave you the go ahead and now you’ve started the work… In terms of compliance, it really is better safe than sorry every time.
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