The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) defines facility management as “a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.”
A Facility Manager is therefore, expected to take proper and adequate care of the building, available facilities and their services must meet the needs of the people that work in the building. The facility manager is accountable for services such as securities; plumbing, parking,etc to make sure the surrounding environment is in a suitable condition to work.Also the facility manager gives optimum value to everyone who uses the facilities
Find below 10 characteristics of a good Facility Manager;
- Good Leadership Prowess: This is a quality that is required to excel in leadership position. As such, a facility manager must have this proficiency to be able to put different professionals together to perform the desired task. He/she must be able to influence his workforce towards achieving set of goals.
- Clients Satisfaction: A facility manager must be able to proffer solutions to client’s needs at every point in time. These include having good listening ears, tender sincere apology when need arise, involve the clients in proffering solution, fix problems without passing blames, do things extra to satisfy your clients, always do proper follow-up and give feedback to your clients and stakeholders. The above gives you an edge over your contemporaries.
- Response Time: A competent Facility Manager must have good response time to issues. Various issues arise at any point in time in different sites, but a Facility Manager must respond swiftly to the queries as they arise and under calm demeanor. These issues include plumbing, electrical, generator, fire alarm system, lift, elevator, air-conditioning, close-circuit television, etc.
- Must Be Finicky: A good Facility Manager must be finicky in all aspects of the available facilities in a property. The Facility Manager must be one who pays close attention to details about facilities on ground and taking adequate care of same to surpass the expectation of clients in order to satisfy them.
5. Good Communication and Negotiation Skills: A Facility Manager must have good communication skills-both verbal and written. She/he must have confidence in presenting problems, budget and solutions and before various stakeholders. You must also be able to deal sensitively and appropriately with different stakeholders, vendors and third parties contractors. Negotiation skills are vital when dealing with suppliers to be able obtain compliance and value. Utilizing communication platform such as Whatsapp and other technology enabled platforms can help bridge communication gaps between staff and stakeholders.
6. Numerically Sound: One need not be a mathematician to be Facility Manager, but budgeting and financial projections are integral part of the job. Therefore, a Facility Manager needs to have full knowledge of facility management metrics and how to calculate them. The more financial acumen he/she has, the better for effectiveness and efficiency sake.
7. Accountability: A Facility Manager must be able to render proper account to clients and stakeholders. It is always advisable to render proper accounts on a quarterly basis with evidences to enable them have confidence in you. The concerned parties must be carried along before embarking on any cost that was not approved at service charge meeting.
8. Constant Training: The industry is constantly changing due to new technological developments and changes. A Facility Manager must be able to adapt to the new dynamics by attending conferences, seminars and reading books that relate to facility management to stay update with the industry news and latest developments.
9. I.T Knowledge: Facility Management of today is more technology-reliant than ever. There are lot of facility management softwares that makes work easy e.g. Building automation system, software that capture quantity & quality of diesel supplied site, consumption and when the generator is due for servicing. Also, there are ranges of accounting softwares that are needed and used by Facility Managers.
10. Regulatory Laws:It is important to have full knowledge of the regulatory laws such as insurance law, health and safety laws in commercial facilities which includes; management of health and safety at work, workplace health, safety and welfare, health and safety equipment, personal protective equipment at work, regulated working time, reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences, adequate provision and use of work equipment. This benefits you as a Facility Manager.
The above mentioned characteristics are very vital for any Facility Manager who wants to excel in the profession.