05 June, 2024 | Posted by Jenny Smith

How to Develop Leadership Skills as a Facilities Manager

A brightly lit table of professional staff looking up towards their manager

As a facilities manager, effective leadership is crucial to ensuring smooth operations and maintaining high standards. Developing strong leadership skills can significantly impact your career and the overall efficiency of your facility.

Here are some strategies to help you enhance your leadership abilities and excel in your role.

1. Understand Your Team and Their Needs

Effective leadership starts with understanding your team. Take the time to get to know each team member's strengths, weaknesses, and career aspirations. This knowledge allows you to delegate tasks effectively and provide appropriate support. Regular one-on-one meetings and team-building activities can foster a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.

2. Develop Strong Communication Skills

Clear and concise communication is vital in facilities management. Ensure that you communicate your expectations, goals, and feedback effectively. Active listening is equally important—pay attention to your team's concerns and suggestions. Open lines of communication build trust and encourage a collaborative work environment.

3. Lead by Example

As a leader, your actions set the tone for the entire team. Demonstrate professionalism, punctuality, and a strong work ethic. When your team sees you upholding these standards, they are more likely to follow suit. Leading by example also means being approachable and willing to assist with tasks when necessary.

4. Invest in Continuous Learning

The field of facilities management is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. Upskilling also strengthens your personal development, while opening you up to new networks of peers and mentors to learn from. Pursue further education and professional development opportunities, such as certifications from reputable organisations like the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM). These credentials not only enhance your knowledge but also demonstrate your commitment to the profession.

5. Develop Problem-Solving Skills

Effective leaders are adept at problem-solving. Cultivate the ability to quickly assess situations, identify potential issues, and develop strategic solutions. Encourage your team to approach problems proactively and collaboratively. This not only improves efficiency but also empowers your team to take initiative.

6. Foster a Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment boosts morale and productivity. Recognise and reward your team's achievements, and provide constructive feedback when necessary. Promote work-life balance and address any workplace conflicts promptly and fairly. A supportive atmosphere encourages your team to perform at their best.

7. Embrace Technology

Stay abreast of technological advancements in facilities management. Implementing the latest software and tools can streamline operations and improve efficiency. Familiarise yourself with building management systems (BMS), computer-aided facility management (CAFM) systems, and other relevant technologies. Being tech-savvy can position you as a forward-thinking leader in your field.

8. Network with Other Professionals

Networking is essential for professional growth. Join industry associations and attend conferences, seminars, and workshops. Engaging with other facilities management professionals can provide valuable insights, share experiences, and open doors to new opportunities. Organisations like IWFM offer excellent networking platforms for FM professionals.

9. Seek Feedback and Reflect

Solicit feedback from your team and peers to understand how you can improve your leadership skills. Reflect on your experiences and identify areas for growth. Constructive criticism is a valuable tool for personal and professional development. Regular self-assessment ensures that you remain adaptable and effective in your leadership role.

10. Mentor and Develop Future Leaders

Great leaders inspire and develop future leaders. Mentor your team members and provide opportunities for them to take on leadership roles. This not only strengthens your team but also contributes to the long-term success of your organisation. Sharing your knowledge and experience fosters a culture of continuous improvement and professional development.

Your Future in Leadership

Developing leadership skills as a facilities manager is essential for achieving operational excellence and advancing your career. By understanding your team, communicating effectively, investing in continuous learning, and embracing technology, you can become a more effective leader. Remember, leadership is a journey, and continuous improvement is key to long-term success.

If you are interested in any of our Facilities Management qualifications, you can book a consultation call with our expert FM advisor Brandon McLean, email brandon.mclean@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0035.

Visit our Facilities Management department here.

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