I’m talking about the individual FM within an organisation, rather than the profession of FM. I was talking on the telephone to someone the other day and we were discussing the profile of FMs amongst other areas of business and how our colleagues view the job we do.
In my opinion, most of the low view of the FM is down to ignorance. Over the years the FM role has evolved, perhaps from caretaker and handyman, along with the managing director’s PA or office manager taking care of the admin side.
I’m currently studying a BIFM Level 4 Diploma in Facilities Management and whilst in the office late one evening, writing an assignment, a colleague asked why I was there after hours – i explained and his response was “oh, do you need a diploma to change a lightbulb?”. He would have been delighted to know he wound me up with that comment, however my quick retort, which I couldn’t possible repeat here, sent him on his way knowing I was less than impressed by his so-called humour.
From talking to other FMs I find they often say things like ‘no-one knows what I do’ and ‘I don’t get recognition for what I do’. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that people only notice what we do when it goes wrong or isn’t done! So how do we change this view? It’s time to raise our own profile, to promote ourselves, time to let people in your organisation know what it is that you do.
Let’s not just tell people about the things that go wrong or are waiting to be fixed, tell them the good stuff too. In my experience, I started to get respect and recognition by sending out general emails to let people know the status of what I was doing. We have regular ‘communication’ meetings with the heads of departments and I will let the attendees know the types of things I’ve been working on and issues we face. Don’t just sit there waiting for someone to notice you and what you do – tell people!
Thanks to Naomi Fry for this guest blog. Read more from Naomi at http://naomiisthinking.blogspot.co.uk/