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Making the Facility Department More Visible in the Organization

Facility management, marketing, communication, top management

Today's tip has to do with the importance of marketing in facility management.

For many facility managers, the idea of tooting their own horns is difficult to accept. Many facility managers are more comfortable in the background. They want to do a good job, but don't want to call attention to the work they're doing. The risk is that they become essentially invisible in the organization. When that happens, the only time they get recognition is when something goes wrong that affects the building.

But facility managers can increase their visibility without bragging about themselves, says Dan Gelderman, principle, Calibre Systems, whose career includes facility positions at a large state university and in the U.S. Navy.

Gelderman used to invite his peers from other parts of the organization to facility department functions — internal award ceremonies, picnics, holiday parties — just so that other managers could get a sense of what the facility department did. Another tactic is to piggyback on external events — Earth Day, for example — to highlight facility accomplishments in areas like recycling or energy efficiency.

Gelderman says he looks at the facility manager as a kind of cheerleader for the staff. Spreading the word about the achievements of the facility workforce is often easier for facility managers than talking up their own accomplishments.

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