Being a facility manager is tough enough, being a good one is harder. Here's part 1 of 2 on the top ten skills you need to be a good facility manager.
1. Numerical Know-HowMost FMs aren’t economists, mathematicians, or CPAs, but budgeting and financial planning are still important parts of the job. You need to know what your company’s key metrics are and how to calculate them. The more financial insight you have, the more effective a manager you’ll be.
But even if you were never a “mathlete” in school, you can learn the skills you need to understand high-level business budgeting. Critical thinking goes a long way. 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.
2. Legal Eagle-bility
A superhero FM doesn’t need a law degree any more than a math degree, but having an appreciation for the effect that federal, state, and local laws have on your facility is key. Whatever industry you find yourself in, chances are good that numerous statutes and regulations apply to everything from HR to day-to-day operations.
Occupational Health & Safety laws are particularly important to commercial facilities. Familiarity with OSHA regulations and other applicable law is a real benefit for any FM, especially those who manage high-risk sites or who work in a seriously regulated field. E911 is obviously important too. You need to understand your responsibility for making sure emergency contact is appropriately coordinated with a physical location. It’s also good to know the basic principles of your state’s tort law, especially where premises liability, personal injury, and employment law are concerned.
3. Insider’s Insight
As an FM, you probably know a lot of about the Facility Management field, but what about your company’s industry? Are you an expert in their universe as well as your own?
Let’s say you’re the FM for the second-busiest hospital in your city. Sure, you know the building and how to run it, but how much do you understand about healthcare? You don’t need an M.D., but knowing how the medical industry operates will enable you to identify your facility’s problems. Armed with an insider’s insight, you’ll be better poised to take your hospital to #1.
You also need to know your own company’s specific vision, values, and goals. How do they fit into the larger, industry-wide picture? How do they differentiate themselves? What objectives are they targeting within their market? Employers need an FM who can help guide them along a strategically charted, goal-oriented path.
4. A Go-with-the-Flow Attitude
A lot of leadership is instinctual, but good instincts can be learned. Are you normally easygoing, or are you naturally “on edge”? Either personality type can serve you well in different situations, but flexibility is an exclusively valuable trait for FMs.
Ours is a dynamic profession. Every day is different, and problems pop up without warning. If that kind of environment excites you, you’re already two steps ahead. But if uncertainty is a stressor, it doesn’t mean you can’t be the best of the best among FMs. It’s never too late to learn to take a deep breath and recalibrate your approach to the unknown.
5. Emergency Reflexes!
Part of going with the flow means keeping calm in an emergency. If you’ve never faced a true emergency, you might not know how you’d instinctively respond. Some people panic; others become naturally solution-oriented and level-headed. As a general rule, “cool and collected” is the most effective approach to even the direst emergency. Planning is part of that. If you already know exactly how to react when an emergency occurs, you won’t be caught off-guard. So be prepared!
Written by Elizabeth Dukes
Originally posted on iofficecorp.com