How Focusing on Occupants is the Key to FM Success

The three most important words in facility management: People, people, people. Sure, they can be frustrating, but it's up to FMs to make them happy.

By Edward Sullivan, Editor  

There are two ways to read the headline. One is with a sigh and a shake of the head. “People, people, people.” Facility managers have plenty of reasons to use that tone. After all, employees, visitors, patients, students, shoppers, guests — you name it — are often not shy about expressing their displeasure when a building doesn’t meet their expectations. And the way they treat the building can be exasperating.   

So that’s one way to read “people, people, people.” The other way is to imagine the phrase as the “Jeopardy!” answer for which the correct question is: What are the three most important words in facility management?

The two ways to read the headline are not mutually exclusive. Even the most positive, patient facility managers can find themselves venting a little frustration at the way some of the people, people, people in their building are behaving. But people have been central to the mission of facility management since the field began. And that’s more true now than ever. Today, recognition of the impact that the built environment has on people is driving designs to enhance productivity and wellness. And an understanding of how people affect building performance has made occupant engagement a hot topic in energy management.

Of course, it’s easy to think of other high priorities for facility managers, like budgets and schedules. But “location, location, location” was always a deliberate oversimplification. So is “people, people, people.” Neither tells the whole story, but both serve to emphasize a point so obvious it can sometimes be overlooked.

Speaking of people, a new editor joins the Building Operating Management team this month. As chief editor, product development, Dan Weltin will be focusing on new ways to deliver high-value information to facility managers. Dan has 17 years of media experience with cleaning industry brands produced by our parent company. I am taking on broader content development responsibilities for the facilities audience. For those of you who plan to attend NFMT in Baltimore, look for the entire Building Operating Management team at the event. One of the highlights of the year is getting to talk to people, people, people in facility management at the show. 

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  posted on 2/3/2020   Article Use Policy

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