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What Makes A Great Facilities Manager?

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  • Post last modified:October 2, 2022

Facilities Managers are required to have extensive knowledge and a set of skills. To be slightly tongue-in-cheek, what makes a great Facilities Manager is someone who has a lot of this knowledge and skill and applies them well.

All joking aside, however, it remains true. Successful facilities management does require a lot of knowledge and skill, but it relies so much more on their application. A good Facilities Manager is always in action. It’s all about developing strong relationships with the many parties involved in a particular facility – suppliers, employees, employers, contractors, managers, executives, and the list goes on. The Facilities Manager represents the gravitational pull that keeps all these moving bodies on course and in orbit. That means a lot of very different individuals, working and dealing with many different scenarios. The FM may not have all the knowledge and expertise in each individual field, but what they must know is how to navigate the interplay of these fields, and even more importantly the people that play within them. This requires a healthy dose of IQ, EQ, and even PQ (Political Quotient). Few industries fully present as many challenges in all these areas at once.

It involves anything from procurement and negotiation to managing budgets, to team motivation. This interplay requires a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’, as it were. Some of the main priorities of a Facilities Manager in the broader scope of things is enhancing productivity, reducing downtime, and streamlining daily operations for their clients. Sometimes this requires work above and beyond what one would traditionally consider Facilities Management. But then again, perhaps not, as I’ve said before, the work of an FM is to solve real problems faced by real people in the real world. Those are never going to be textbook, nor neatly packed into any specific area of expertise.

Most significantly, however, a great Facilities Manager is a great leader. Good management always requires the real work to be done by the team that the manager manages, not by the manager themselves. Facilities Managers deal with many teams, sometimes their own team, who in turn support many other teams. This takes it all the way back to relationships. If you can bring all the stakeholders together, working the best they can to achieve the best results, no amount of technical skill or know-how can replace it.

Be passionate about the people around you, the work they do, and the people who benefit from it. If you can strive for excellence in this one small way, the rest is icing on top.

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