Dan Hounsell

The Human Side of 21st Century Facilities

Managers can benefit from focusing on their staff — the people who make facilities go

By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief  

Nothing grabs attention in facilities like new technology, hot trends and cutting-edge ideas. Top executives, managers, supervisors and technicians alike try to find the best ways to take advantage of the latest, greatest new trend or idea, from resilience and sustainability to building information modeling and smart technology.

But those discussions are hardly the only road to success for maintenance and engineering managers, and they might not even be the most promising or important. For every hot new trend, a handful of less flashy, more human considerations are likely to have a greater impact on an organization’s short- and long-term success.

Managers who let The Big Idea Of The Day take their focus off the human side of their departments are missing the chance to create safer, healthier and, ultimately, more efficient and productive workplaces. Consider these people-centric opportunities for success:

Staffing. Recruitment and retention of front-line technicians is a tough road these days, but employees are the building blocks of any strategy for long-term success. Time invested in finding and keeping the best workers is time well spent.

Training. As managers struggle to find skilled, qualified technicians, employee training in key areas of maintenance and engineering is a higher priority than ever. It also is directly related to ensuring technicians work safely and efficiently.

Communication. Workers are likely to be more motivated, safety-conscious and productive if managers take time to discuss priorities, answer questions, and provide constructive feedback.

Marketing. Managers who publicize the successes and savings their departments generate can go a long way in changing the image of maintenance and engineering within their organizations. They also can improve the morale and productivity of staffs that get overlooked at best and, at worst, are viewed as a cost center.

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  posted on 1/7/2020   Article Use Policy

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