In each issue of FMJ, IFMA’s Facility Management Consultants Council shares some commonly asked FM-related questions accompanied by advice from top FM consultants. The questions and answers presented in this section align with IFMA’s core competencies following the themes outlined for the given edition of the magazine. While the following answers are intended to be helpful, these responses should not be deemed complete and are limited in context by the space allocated. Please contact the individual consultants directly for further explanation of the opinions expressed. The theme of this edition of FMJ is “People, Process and Place.” Q A facility manager was recently hired by a large accounting firm that occupies five floors of leased space in a multi-tenant building totaling 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters). The FM soon discovered that over the past few years there has been little to no communication between the FM organization and the occupants except as absolutely necessary. The new FM wants to develop and implement a formal communications plan to better engage the occupants and promote the FM organization. What advice would you give to the FM to help them develop that plan? My advice to the newly appointed FM is to always remember that “two-way communication” is a key element in shifting from a “reactive” to a “proactive” model of FM. Therefore, he or she should establish a new approach of communicating with occupants as effectively as possible. That can be achieved through the following: Define the responsibilities of building management, staff, and occupants. » Present the added value of the FM organization and how it is beneficial to the occupants and to their facility. » Establish a system for receiving and responding to occupant complaints. » Maintain the channels of communication by ensuring that occupants know how to contact the responsible FM personnel who can receive and respond to their complaints. If possible, FM personnel should be part of a dedicated FM service desk – a dedicated team whose performance should be managed closely by you as the facility manager through standardized KPIs. » Promote the FM organization by leading, practicing and implementing the best FM practices, managing change, promoting continuous improvement, and providing the tools the FM staff needs to successfully accomplish their jobs at a high level. » Considering the size of this facility, communications by email, as well as by posting notices at all exits are also effective. » Collect and evaluate occupancy data and then create policies and procedures to optimize the space usage and plan for future space usage as well as to deal with space changes whenever it is required. ANSWERED BY Abdullah A. Al-Shehri EMBA, 6 SIGMA GB®, FMP® Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 966 50 5614226 Mr. Al-Shehri is manager of National Commercial Bank (NCB) facilities and is a transformational FM leader with more than 12 years of experience in facilities management-construction, maintenance and operation of branches, data centers, and corporate buildings. He believes in building business success by creating a healthy work environment that promotes creativity and efficiency of people to enhance their effectiveness, to thereby reduce operating costs, increase productivity, and enhance the customer experience. This situation is somewhat due to the type of facility manager that had the seat last. The businesses being supported by FM are typically partners or owners, and they reap the cost savings that result from an efficient FM organization and thus increases their profit. My advice is to develop a hit list of planned improvements and demonstrate how they lead to cost savings. This FM will need to bring something significant to the table and immediately demonstrate to senior management that FM can significantly contribute to the organization’s success. FMs may be invited to partner meetings once they see the value of efficient FM improvements. Make sure that any plan is executable within the timeline that is associated with it. Write the plan down, and be ready to share it with leadership. Shake up the environment! Stay visible and on the floor. Be sure you have the right team in place to execute. Start with the human resources team to discusses tactics, they’re a great partner, along with IT. Items to review in any communications planning: staffing, space planning, amenities, parking, supplies, service centers (mail-room operations), off-site storage, recycling, the landlord relationship, security and how to assist with technology. ANSWERED BY James Delgado MREM, CFM, CIPS +01 1-314-808-4267 firstname.lastname@example.org James Delgado is principal consultant at Facility Workplace Solutions in St. Louis, MO, USA. He holds a masters degree in Real Estate Management and has actively supported many large corporate businesses in the role of leader, manager, director and most recently Region Director managing 1,200,000 square feet with hundreds of internal customers. He has been in the facilities world for 20 years and started Facility Workplace Solutions (FWS) in 2011 to provide programs and processes that support day-to-day management of workplace sites. As a resource, FWS offers tactics and strategies to solve client issues. FWS is dedicated to supplying facility owners and users with best practices to more efficiently manage their site. James is also a commercial real estate broker in Missouri and Illinois. The first step to improve this situation would be to work with your internal organization to perform a gap analysis and formulate a formal communications plan. A robust plan should detail everything from safety to day-to-day activities. The second step would be to consider which communication tool to use. Selecting a tool that allows a facilities manager to communicate with his or her employees — and also works to create a community for all employees to connect — is critical to the success of an FM organization. ANSWERED BY Brian J. Dolan As U.S. IFM Operations Lead for Cushman & Wakefield, Brian Dolan focuses on driving operational excellence, supporting business development and sustained profitability, continuous improvement and developing talent within the Global Occupier Services regional structure. He is responsible for the design, measurement, and effectiveness of the IFM platform internal processes. This includes deploying playbooks, managing IFM transitions and transformations, and ensuring standards and best practices. » Increase personal interaction with the customers, the FM team leader, and provide leadership to FM vendors and suppliers and in-house operations. » Schedule face time with your customers to open in-person communications. » Make use of digital communication by all web channels you can, as well as social media. » Make a strong effort to manage and supervise all demands coming from the customers, including before and after delivering services. » Facility managers must explore every avenue to provide a safe, secure, healthy and productive workplace for employees, even by digital ways. ANSWERED BY Gesse’ C. Camargo 55 11 999706122 email@example.com Gesse’ is an FMCC member, IFMA member, ABRAFAC (Brazilian FM Association) board member, and has 25 years of experience on executive seats for national and multinational companies on FM. Gesse’ is also a speaker and president of the CONGRESSOS INFRA, the largest Brazilian FM event in the last 15 years. Which side of the organization does the FM report to: human resources or finance or a different department? Each of the department heads has a different way of doing things, so understanding your manager’s style is important to get them to buy into any changes. As an example, HR would be easier to sell ergonomic upgrades versus getting the finance manager to agree to new workstations. Understand how your manager views your position and the role you will play and what their “issues” are that they want you to address. For example, in my role as an FM my job is to provide a safe and productive environment for the workers so they can focus on their tasks at hand. Is your role a similar one? Know what type of employees are in the organization and develop a communication program to that engages them. How long have they occupied their space and what is the “environment” like? Are there changes that need to be done to update the workspace such as lighting, ergonomics, HVAC, signage, custodial service levels, general maintenance issues? Is there a building manager and an engineering or maintenance department? How does staff currently interact with them? They may not understand what your job function is. With an outside building management team, you should identify yourself as their point of contact for any issues that arise within your occupied space. Has there ever been an evacuation drill of the building? If not, that would be a good first step to get people to understand what an FM does — for their benefit as it relates to life safety. Observing their social style will give insight on how they communicate. Start to develop a plan to educate and share with them what FM offers — for example, a simple monthly newsletter on the company intranet about safety in the workplace and home, building upgrades or scheduled maintenance to building systems (elevators offline due to maintenance, etc.) or even new restaurants or planned activities in the area. Be informative. Engage your readers. Planned construction projects that could impact their ability to get to work, while not part of your job, shows that your focus is on “keeping the employees happy.” Happy employees are productive employees. Check out the work environment and make sure it is suitable for the tasks the employees perform. air temperature, lighting, quality of air (change filters regularly), fresh air refresh schedules, ergonomics — show how FM positively impacts the environment that your organization’s employees work in. ANSWERED BY Tim Richardson | 818-575-9219 | firstname.lastname@example.org Tim Richardson operates Tim & Kevin Richardson/Father and Son — a boutique FM services company in Southern California. With 30 employees, the company provides FM services to small to mid-size organizations that do not have an in-house FM or real estate department. We perform all phases of FM services and love what we do. ABOUT THE COUNCIL The Facility Management Consultants Council (FMCC) represents more than 300 FM consultants from various countries around the globe. Its mission states, “The FMCC is the resource and voice for facility management consultants worldwide to leverage our collective expertise to benefit IFMA members, and the facility management profession.” Questions regarding the Ask the Experts section of FMJ can be directed to Mark Sekula, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMP, LEED AP, president of Facility Futures, Inc., at email@example.com. Visit FMCC online at fmcc.ifma.org or join the conversation on the council’s LinkedIn group at http://linkd.in/1gAa8ae.
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