Traits of a successful Facility Manager

October 4, 2017

Smiling businesswoman on focus, with her coworkers at the background

Maybe you’re looking to become a facility manager (FM) and you’re wondering if you would be right for the job, or perhaps you are already an FM and you want to improve. Either way, the secret to being a great FM isn’t about keeping up with the latest technological innovations or managerial strategies per se, it’s about cultivating and developing core personality traits. Some of these traits are ones you may already possess, others you may have to work on, but at the end of the day, all of these traits are essential to success for you and your facility.


Listening skills

The role of an FM has evolved quite a lot from the old days, when it was something carried out of the basement. Today, a great FM has to empathize with their employees and their clients. You need to understand everything from their work style to their eating habits, and be able to use this knowledge to implement new strategies and initiatives that support these behaviors and preferences.


Ability to communicate

In any office, change is a constant: new technologies, new procedures, new safety measures, etc. And change is likely to cause resistance. A great FM must be able to communicate the necessity of change and be able to translate new strategies and tactics to something very tangible for the employees.


Be a force for positive change

Speaking of change, a successful FM will be proactively striving for kaizen or “continual improvement.” A great FM will constantly be challenging the status quo by implementing new solutions to transform the organization and create cost-efficiencies or even taking on new responsibilities to support the strategic goals of the organization. In other words: even if everything is running smoothly, it can still be running better.


Be decisive

You’re a manager, so a lot of the decision making falls on you. But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself…


Be able to delegate effectively

Knowing how to spend your time wisely is not always intuitive. In fact, one of the problems many managers face is that they try to do too much. Knowing how to delegate will make you and your team more effective.


Create strategic value

Facility management and strategic business operations shouldn’t be separate. A great FM should know how to deliver business value that goes beyond daily governance and maintenance. As an article on explains, you need to know how to use your workplace as a tool “to strengthen company culture, improve employee engagement, productivity and develop workplace experiences that communicate and reinforce the company’s value proposition.”


Also, you can learn how to avoid decision fatigue and make better decisions. Other than that, the job is pretty easy.


For more information on how to improve your FM skills, contact Vanguard Resources.