27 Aug 2019

Why Facilities Management Teams Fail

Facilities Management is the function that integrates people, place and process with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the people and the productivity of the core business”. Fundamentally, this definition places three responsibilities on Facilities Management team or company. These responsibilities are the integration of people, process and place, the improvement of people’s quality of life and the productivity of the core business.

It therefore follows that any FM operation or team that is falling short of the listed responsibilities may need to be overhauled. But why do FM operations and by extension the Facilities Management team or company fall short in their responsibilities?

  1. Misalignment of operational strategy to business goal

Besides Human Resources, Real Estate is also a big-ticket item of organisation cost profile. Analysts say it account for up to 40% of business overhead – with power accounting for about 60% of that figure.

Therefore, when the business sets goals and Facilities Management is not aligned or structured to support that goal, things fall apart. For example, an organisation might set a goal of increasing its employee productivity to drive increase in revenue or process efficiency. The workplace – which is the responsibility of Facilities Manager – will play a critical role in this mix. So if Facilities Management is focused on cost saving and not value, for example, it may jeopardise that business strategy.

  1. Misunderstanding of Cost Savings

Report has shown that the impact of cost-saving may be huge if real value is ignored. For example, what most professionals measure is how much is saved from a situation. But if the entire spectrum is viewed as this article points out about the telecommunications industry, it can be established that organisation lose more than they gain when things break down than when they are prevented.

Deferred maintenance is one of the suspects in this situation. Most Facilities Management team assume deferred maintenance as a cost-saving opportunity. However, it is not just kicking the can down the road, it is the cost of repair is bigger than the cost of fixing the breakdown or purchasing another equipment.

Organisations could lose up to $8, 861 in a day if employees are asked to work from home as a result of critical equipment break down.

  1. Inability to link Facilities Management operations to business success and employee performance

The role of the Facilities Manager in the workplace is perhaps one of the most important in terms of impact on organizational performance. Facilities Management has a huge influence of the condition of the workplace and the productivity of the people.

A survey by Sodexo and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed that 61% of respondents felt that improvements to workplace has positively impacted their well being. Therefore, a Facilities Management team that will succeed needs to treat the Real Estate Facilities beyond the building and what makes them function, but as an environment that improve the quality of life of people and the business operations.

  1. Misconception of the nature of work today to the need of work today

Today’s workplace is evolving continually, it has become much more than the traditional desk and chair work space. The modern workplace is more fluid and casual, where work-life balance is extremely important. It has gone beyond having the perfect ambiance or how well office equipments are placed, it now involves the total well being of the employee. For example, a nap room where employees can catch a 10-minute break or a creche in the office premises where employees’ children can stay during work hours. Having spaces like these will improve employee productivity and quality of work as employees can spend more time working knowing their children are safe.

The Facilities Management team must make sure the work space blends into a flexible environment that allows for continued communication and collaboration. They must ensure the workplace continues to evolve to meet the needs of both employees and customers. Efficient Facilities Management practice is crucial for employees to be able to work in a motivated, focused and effective manner. The workplace must continue to evolve in order to meet the needs of both employees and employers.

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