How to be the best FM you can?

When asked about the toughest part of a job, basically any job, the common answer is: dealing with people. But if you focus on these 10 attributes of a strong Facility Manager, you’ll see success.

Employees often get frustrated or annoyed with their job because of the people around them. Larry Kokkelenberg, educational speaker and President at the Center for Business Development has listed 10 guidelines on FacilitiesNet facility managers should follow to build and operate productive teams. Kokkelenberg has worked in the construction industry for 35 years and has diverse experience as he has worked with start-ups, medium and Fortune 50 companies, nonprofits and government.

Build trust

Trust is the foundation for all positive and sustained relationships – professional or private -, and these relationships are vitally important if a team wants to perform at a high level. According to Kokkelenberg “when looking at behaviour that helps build trust, communication, consistency and leading by example are all important behaviours. On the contrary, poor communication, lack of integrity and lack of reliability were listed as behaviours that hurt trust within a company.”

Influence over power 

An important distinction between power and influence is that power is the authority to give orders and make decisions, while influence is the ability to positively affect ideas and actions. An autocratic top-down model of employment can hurt a business if not handled correctly, whereas growing influence by being knowledgeable, respectful, caring and flexible keeps teams flourishing.

Create a culture of appreciation

Saying “thank you” costs nothing and gives more than you expect in return. More than three-fourths of employees (76%) say that being recognized by their superiors motivates them in their job. By being more personable with your staff, acknowledging all extra efforts and thanking people for their work every day, the company will become more positive in only 30 days. – Kokkelenberg highlights.

Play it fair

As the experienced trainer adds: No employee should be treated differently, better or worse, than another. Being impartial, unprejudiced and fair will show everyone that they are all equally important and will help build trust and morale within the company.

Respect works both ways

When people fear or dislike their superiors, they are constantly stressed or tense about their work situation, which also negatively affects their work.

Be a role model

“Being a boss also makes you a role model and being a role model comes with responsibilities. Manage yourself in a positive manner and live by your own values and the values of the company. In return, your employees will respect you and trust that the company is in good hands.”-  professional advises.

Help & develop your people

One of the responsibilities of being a boss is to help make everyone else’s jobs easier, so people will come to you for help and advice. Give instructions, feedback and advice to help develop people and their skills.

Positivity is contagious

Positive supervisors will breed positive employees and positive employees tend to do great work for their company. Start with yourself, as everything you do will reflect back on your staff.


As Kokkelenberg points out: work gets done by the entire team, never by just one person. Building a collaborative mindset by encouraging cooperation and helpfulness you will get in return employees that not only work well together but enjoy doing so.

Give the job a higher purpose

Don’t just give people jobs, but give them a purpose, link your work to your mission statement. This will encourage employees to work for the good of the company instead of working solely for a paycheck.


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