The Invisibility Of Facilities Management

by Apr 19, 2019Facilities Culture

The isolated nature of facility management can make your team essentially invisible to upper management. This brings some distinct disadvantages, but they can be managed if you know how to combat them.

Your job happens behind the doors with signs like ‘facilities staff only’ and on the floors where passenger elevators don’t stop. Your face-to-face interactions with upper management can be sporadic and very limited. The hard work you and your team do might barely register with the rest of the organization…until there is a problem of course.

While most FM pros aren’t interested in the office atmosphere, the lack of consistent visibility there makes it hard to keep FM relevant and current with the rest of the organization, especially with decision makers.

Facility managers maintain the entire facility and keep occupants safe. Despite this critical work, you are often under recognized. And since FM encompasses so many aspects of a facility, your resources are constantly tapped. You and your team get pulled in too many directions for too many unplanned unscheduled requests. These add-ons can decimate your priorities and easily put you behind schedule.


The squeaky wheel gets the grease, but what does the wheel greaser get?

Being invisible can also make it easy for decision makers to cut budgets, while at the same time shifting more responsibilities to facilities teams. They don’t have to consider the sprawling scope of your current responsibility or your intense workload when they don’t know much about it. Until something changes, they will continue to use FM as a backup plan when resources are stressed. This puts unrealistic demands on your time, something that most facility managers have come to accept.

Facilities Managers bring more to the table

You aren’t meant to simply complete work orders, do PMs, put out fires, and keep up appearances for occupants. Though all of those are important, you offer much more than that.

You have the tools to improve your facility. If you look at the credentials for Facility Manager jobs today, besides years of experience, a degree in engineering, or both, you’ll see professional certifications required or heavily favored for Facilities Managers.

But, when FM teams are invisible, it’s easy for decision makers to:

  • lean on facility managers to pick up the slack created elsewhere in the business
  • work with insufficient budgets
  • blindly take on unrealistic initiatives

These factors stifle you and your team’s ability to make an impact.

Do you or your staff hold any of these certifications?

  • Facilities Management Certificate (FMC) gives Facilities Managers tools to manage and maintain cost-effective facilities.
  • LEED Green Associates know the most current green building principles and practices.
  • Sustainability Facility Professional® (SFP) know sustainable facilities management practices
  • Certified Energy Manager® (CEM) can optimize the energy performance of a facility

And certifications are only part of the picture. Facilities managers like you bring experience and expertise to the table that you could lean on to save money and improve your facilities.

You can let these skills gather dust and just carry on…or you could do something about it.

Fight invisibility with transparency
  1. You aren’t a repository for fleeting ideas, half baked plans, urgent requests, or responsibilities that aren’t yours.
  2. Your budget isn’t a cookie jar for underfunded departments and projects.

The key to overcoming these faulty ideas lies with transparency.

What if you kept records of all the extra tasks you and your team took on? With even just a quick list, you could start the conversation about how your time and budget are precious. Shine light on this work by including them in your metrics or however you update your management.

LogCheck knows that FM invisibility can have a compounding negative effect on facilities teams. Our mission is to make sure that your routine operations and maintenance work gets seen and valued for how important it truly is.

Sure, replacing paper log sheets with LogCheck makes completing rounds faster and simpler. But it also gives you the transparency you need to show that your team is doing far more to keep your facilities in check than management probably realizes.

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