New Facility Manager in the building? Here is what you need to know! – part 1


FM newsroom – facility management. Whether a facility manager has been promoted or hired to lead the department, the first 100 days are a critical period. During this time, the manager will set the tone for his or her leadership and determine how the team will operate.


The facility and property management industry has been in turmoil as the world of work keeps changing. Executives are assessing whether the hybrid work model can sustain the company goals, and if the often unoccupied and underutilized real estate should remain on the company books. For new facility managers, this complex environment presents both challenges and opportunities. Stormy Friday, founder and president of The Friday Group, an international facilities services consulting firm and contributing writer for Facilities Net listed the essential elements of a facility manager’s first 100 days’ action plan.


Do your research

Regardless of whether you have been promoted or become the leader as an external hire, your first and most important action is to do your homework before stepping into the manager’s role. When new facility managers take the reigns of the organization it is essential for them to study the corporate environment to have a clear picture of what they are inheriting.


Examine, where the company is headed: Has the company changed its strategic direction and what impact does it have on facility management service delivery? Is the company rethinking its product or service lines? Is senior management considering a merger or an acquisition as a potential strategy? Answers to these questions may impact the facility management mandate and the skills mix needed to deliver quality services.


Seek answers about the mandate: Will your department be a strategic player in decisions about the company’s future or is the organization now focusing on operations and portfolio maintenance? Should the facility manager be a change agent for the organization, or are you coming to an organization that is already performing well?


Find out more about the corporate work model: Is there a firm direction company-wide on a hybrid model, tracking employees to ensure they are in their offices or some other work solution? Facility managers need to determine what senior management has concluded about the workweek as an ever-changing number of employees working in the office or remotely makes it difficult for the facility management team to plan their schedules and staffing.


Team building

New facility managers need to build a strong team that sustains the organization in the future. The rules of engagement have changed over the past years and the concept of team building has taken on a new meaning. Many organizations have teams that rarely interact on an in-office level and the team culture is not highly institutionalized.


Surprisingly, a new facility manager may have an advantage over new managers in other corporate departments. Unlike their counterparts during the pandemic, many facility departments did not have the opportunity to have staff working remotely on a regular basis. While the team culture may need strengthening it may not be as fragmented as some of the other organizational entities.


Closing gaps

Matching the existing staff skills and what is needed to meet the expectations is the task of the new facility manager. To do this, new facility managers need to assess the skills of current staff and link them with the needs of the company to create a road map for closing gaps that exist between the two.


On completing this assessment, a Human Resources plan should be created including strategic goals and implementation steps for organic development of existing staff to close skills gaps. Strategies for long-term recruitment and hiring to complement existing in-house staff skills, and for strengthening relationships with external service providers.


Read Part II of this article.


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