Technology has been changing the role of a facility manager in recent times. With automation and AI freeing them from day-to-day tasks, facility managers are now able to focus on strategies that add value to the buildings they manage and the companies that own them.

As organizations create smart office spaces and adopt agile working practices, the role of a facility manager is undergoing a major shift.

In the past, ‘Facilities’ conjured up images of health and safety procedures, office maintenance, cleaning, and security. These elements of running an efficient and compliant workplace are still important, but a whole new host of responsibilities are falling on the facility managers as we welcome a new era of Facilities Management. You might say Facilities Management is fast becoming Facilities Leadership.

Facility managers will be working more closely than ever with HR. This shift is driven by a greater need for cross-functional collaboration amongst teams and the need to accommodate headcount growth. By improving employee conditions, whether it is a physical change to the space or a behavioural change to the standard practices, the facility managers can impact the connection that employees have to their employer — i.e. their level of employee engagement.

The primary reason human resources and facility managers should work together is that both parties have a vested interest in ensuring the company’s success and employee satisfaction. Through working together, facilities management becomes more proficient in tactical human resources functions. This frees up time for human resources professionals to devote more time to strategic HR management.

Department Staffing

The HR’s main function is to support the workforce needs of the organization. HR and facility managers should communicate regularly and frequently to determine the skills and qualifications required for a seamless operation of department functions. Whenever there’s a vacancy in a facility manager’s department, an HR recruiter or employment specialist and the facility manager review the job description for accuracy and completeness. During the recruitment and selection process, HR advises facility managers on how to identify qualified candidates and existing staff capabilities.

Workforce Strategy

Strategic planning between HR and facility managers involves reviewing projections concerning future business needs to determine whether to train current employees to prepare them for promotion or to recruit candidates with higher-level skills to augment the current employee knowledge base. By working together on immediate and future staffing needs, HR and facility management benefit from reduced cost per hire and turnover. Besides, the organization benefits from appropriate succession planning and adequate staffing.

Performance Management

Training and development is an HR function that prepares facility managers for several leadership tasks. One such task is conducting employee performance appraisals. Human resource trainers develop learning objectives based on facility managers’ understanding of the organization’s coaching philosophy. Leadership training topics include how to provide employees with constructive feedback and how to conduct fair and unbiased assessments of employee performance. Inconsistencies within an organization’s performance management system negatively impact employee job satisfaction, which is another reason HR and facility managers should work collaboratively.

Conflict Resolution

Workplace conflict is inevitable whenever employees from different departments represent different cultures, work styles, and personalities. When conflicts arise, facility managers typically seek the advice of HR in resolving issues between employees or issues between employees and their managers. If there is already dissension between HR and facility management, it can be difficult for human resources to determine what underlies the conflict and how to resolve it. A positive working relationship between HR and facility management facilitates easier handling of workplace investigations and mitigates differences between staff. When HR and facility managers work together, it’s easier for HR to investigate workplace issues because the human resource staff may have greater confidence that facility managers document their employment actions and decisions appropriately and according to company policy.

Solving  the optimal and flexible set of workforce and workplace solutions requires commitment between HR and Facility managers. Getting it right can unlock an improved employee experience, access to new talent, and significant cost reduction opportunities that can help the enterprise thrive. Prusight will help you manage every aspect of your workplace from real estate and space planning through workplace security, visitor management, conference room management, personalization, package delivery, and more.

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