11 Hidden Skills to Stand Out as a Facility Managers

facility manager skills

You may have climbed the ladder with hard work and dedication, but that alone won’t guarantee success as a facility manager.

Think about it – have you ever had a manager who made your work life a living nightmare? Maybe they lacked planning skills and threw random last-minute tasks your way, or perhaps they expected you to work weekends because they were unprepared.

You’ve all been there and probably vowed to be different.

To be a standout facility manager, with exceptional facilities management skills, you need more than just a fancy title and a pay increase. You must acquire the right skills and competencies to lead your team effectively and create a positive work environment.

So, if you are a business owner trying to understand what qualities and competencies make a good facility manager or if you are a new entrant trying to find the best answer for how to be a good facility manager then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll explore the key managerial competencies for facility management and how to develop them.

Strategic Planning

It may sound like something reserved for corporate bigwigs, but let me tell you, it’s a competency that can work wonders for your success.

Strategic planning is the art of charting a course for your facility management endeavors that aligns with your organization’s overall objectives. With your facilities management experience, you understand the importance of having a roadmap that guides your every move.

You might be wondering why strategic planning is so important for you, facility managers. Well, let me hit you with some eye-opening stats.

Over 60% of companies with a well-defined process for making strategic decisions have outperformed their competitors, according to FactoHR. Yes, you heard it right! Strategically planning your facility goals can greatly contribute to your organization’s success.

Tips To Set Direction:

  • Understand the big picture: Take the time to grasp your organization’s overall objectives and vision. This will help you align your facility goals accordingly.
  • Identify key priorities: Determine the areas where your facility can make the most impact. Focus on initiatives that directly support the organization’s strategic direction.
  • Set measurable goals: Define clear, measurable goals for your facility. This will allow you to track progress and demonstrate the value you bring to the table.
  • Involve stakeholders: Engage with stakeholders from different departments to gather insights and ensure alignment with their needs and expectations.

Remember, strategic planning is not a one-time activity. It’s an ongoing process that requires periodic evaluation and adjustment.

Resource Optimization

The primary purpose of a facility manager is to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of a facility while optimizing its resources.

Picture this: you step into a facility where every resource is optimized to its fullest potential. It’s like stepping into a well-oiled machine, where efficiency and cost-effectiveness reign supreme.

This is the magic of resource optimization, a competency that every facility manager should strive to master.

Resource optimization isn’t just about cutting costs; it’s about maximizing the utilization of resources to achieve sustainable and environmentally friendly operations.

It’s a win-win situation that benefits both your organization’s bottom line and the planet.

As a facility manager, you have the power to make a significant impact. By implementing smart practices and making conscious decisions, you can transform your facility into an example of resource optimization excellence.

Tips To Execute:

  • Conduct energy audits to identify areas for improvement
  • Install motion sensor lights to adjust lighting based on occupancy
  • Embrace recycling and implement effective waste management strategies
  • Educate employees about the importance of reducing waste
  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances and technology
  • Replace outdated equipment with energy-saving alternatives
  • Look for appliances with Energy Star ratings
  • Opt for smart systems that optimize energy usage

Resource optimization is not a one-time effort; it requires ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement.

Stay proactive, track utility usage, and celebrate the progress you make. With every small step, you’re moving closer to a facility that saves money and serves as a model of sustainable practices.


Being a facility manager requires more than just a knack for fixing things or managing a team. It’s about being a tech-savvy innovator who embraces technology trends to enhance facility management practices.” aptly said by the CEO of FieldCircle

Yes, you heard that right – technology is a competency that can make a world of difference in your role.

Let’s face it, facility management is no longer limited to manual processes and spreadsheets. You’re in the IoT, AI, and data analytics era, where smart solutions can revolutionize how you manage facilities. By leveraging these advancements, facility managers can enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and drive cost savings.

It’s about understanding the potential of IoT, AI, and data analytics in your field and being open to incorporating them into your practices.

Take, for example, a facility manager who implements a smart building management system that optimizes energy usage based on real-time data. By doing so, they reduce energy costs by 20% as per Schneider Electric and create a more sustainable facility.

Another example is using AI-powered predictive maintenance software that identifies equipment issues before they become major problems, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity.

Check By Asking Yourself:

  • Am I up-to-date with the latest technology trends and innovations in facility management?
  • Do I actively seek out opportunities to incorporate technology solutions into my facility management practices?
  • Am I familiar with the potential benefits and applications of IoT, AI, and data analytics in improving facility operations?
  • Have I explored and implemented any smart building management systems or automation tools to enhance efficiency and reduce costs?
  • Do I have a solid understanding of how technology can help with predictive maintenance, energy optimization, and resource management in my facility?

Remember, being tech-savvy is not just about knowing the buzzwords, but about actively embracing and leveraging technology to drive positive outcomes in facility management.

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Crisis Management

As a facility manager, you are critical to ensuring that your organization can weather unforeseen events and navigate crises gracefully. It’s like being the captain of a ship in a storm, guiding your team through turbulent waters and minimizing disruptions along the way.

You might be wondering why crisis management is such an essential skill for facility managers. Well, let me paint a picture for you.

According to FEMA data, a staggering 90% of businesses fail within a year if they cannot resume operations within five days after a disaster. Yes, you read that right – 90%!

But crisis management is your superpower in times of chaos. It’s about being proactive, strategic, and level-headed when the unexpected strikes. It’s about crafting robust business continuity plans that outline the steps to be taken in various crisis scenarios. Let’s explore these crucial facility manager skills.

Tips To Be Prepared:

  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment.
  • Create a crisis response team.
  • Develop a robust business continuity plan.
  • Stay calm under pressure.
  • Be proactive and strategic.
  • Lead your team through turbulent times.

Remember, crisis management isn’t just about reacting to emergencies – it’s about being prepared, staying calm under pressure, and leading your team through turbulent times.


One of your strengths as a facilities manager lies in your commitment to compliance. It’s not just about ticking boxes and following rules; it’s about creating a culture of compliance that protects both your employees and the environment.

Did you know that non-compliance can have serious consequences? Companies can face fines imposed by regulatory bodies, and suffer from loss of reputation, higher staff turnover, and expensive business downtime. Compliance is not just a legal obligation; it’s a critical aspect of responsible facility management.

Let’s say you notice a hazardous condition in your facility. A compliance-driven facility manager would promptly address the issue, ensuring the necessary corrective actions are taken to maintain a safe working environment. They would also document and track the progress to demonstrate their commitment to compliance.

Tips To Set Direction:

  • Stay in the know: Keep up with the rules and regulations that apply to your industry. It’s like having the inside scoop on what’s hot and what’s not in compliance land.
  • Set the compliance stage: Create and enforce policies and procedures that make compliance a piece of cake. It’s like having a rulebook that everyone wants to follow.
  • Give it a thorough check: Conduct regular audits and inspections to spot any sneaky non-compliance areas. It’s like playing detective and catching those rule breakers in action.
  • Be a proactive problem solver: When you find non-compliance, don’t just shrug it off. Take action, fix the problem, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s like being the superhero of compliance.
  • Keep the communication flowing: Make sure everyone knows their role in keeping things compliant. It’s like having a team of compliance superheroes ready to save the day.


As a facility manager, you’re not just responsible for overseeing the maintenance and operations of the facility, but also for bridging the gap between facility management and the rest of the organization. Effective communication is at the heart of this crucial competency.

Let’s face it, facility management can sometimes feel like a separate world within an organization. But as a communication champion, you will have the power to break down those barriers and build strong connections with stakeholders and teams.

It’s not just about conveying information, but also about actively listening, understanding diverse perspectives, and fostering collaboration.

Check By Asking Yourself:

  • Do you have an ear for the whispers and shouts of your stakeholders and team members?
  • Is your space a safe haven for voices to be heard and ideas to be shared?
  • Are you a master of relationships, building bridges across the organization?
  • Are you a detective of insights, unraveling the truth with strategic questions?
  • Can you turn complex facility management jargon into a melody that everyone can hum?
  • Do you spread news like wildfire, keeping stakeholders and team members in the loop?
  • Do you dare to break the silence, seeking ways to improve communication channels?

Answering these questions will reveal the beat of your communication prowess. Embrace your strengths and seek opportunities to develop further.

Financial Expert

Being a financial expert is not just for accountants and CFOs.

As a facility manager, you need to understand the ins and outs of budgeting and forecasting to ensure efficient facility operations and demonstrate a solid return on investment (ROI) to the C-Suite.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why is financial expertise important for a facility manager?”

Well, let me break it down for you. By having a firm grasp on budgeting and forecasting, you can effectively allocate resources, make informed decisions, and optimize your facility’s financial performance.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Can you confidently create and manage a budget for your facility?
  • Do you understand the financial implications of your operational decisions?
  • Can you identify cost-saving opportunities and analyze the ROI of facility projects?

By being able to answer these questions with a resounding “Yes!”, you’re well on your way to becoming a financial expert in facility management. But don’t worry if you’re not there yet – it’s a journey of continuous learning and improvement.

To apply this competency, consider implementing practical tips such as tracking expenses, conducting regular financial reviews, and leveraging technology to streamline financial processes. Additionally, showcase your financial prowess by presenting cost-saving initiatives and demonstrating tangible results to the C-Suite.

Vendor Management

Vendor management is one of the key facility manager skills for effectively selecting and managing external service providers. Why is this important, you ask? Well, let me enlighten you.

Vendor management is all about building strong partnerships that enhance service delivery. It’s about finding the right service providers who align with your organization’s goals and values.

When you establish solid relationships, you can tap into their expertise, resources, and capabilities to meet your facility’s needs.

But it doesn’t stop at selection. Effective vendor management means actively managing those partnerships. It’s about clear communication, setting expectations, and holding your vendors accountable.

You want to ensure they deliver quality work, meet deadlines, and provide cost-effective solutions.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Am I effectively selecting and managing the right service providers for my facility’s needs?
  • Do I have strong relationships with service providers that understand and support our goals?
  • Am I clear in communicating my expectations to vendors and holding them accountable?
  • Are my vendors delivering quality work and meeting deadlines consistently?
  • Am I exploring cost-effective solutions with my vendors to optimize facility expenses?
  • Do I regularly assess the performance of my service providers and address any issues promptly?
  • Am I actively seeking feedback from stakeholders and users to ensure vendor satisfaction?

Remember, vendor management is not just about transactions; it’s about fostering long-term partnerships that benefit both parties.

Customer Centric

In the words of Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, “There are so many new ways to serve customers. Technology, data, and information are opening new doors for us to lead through. Our purpose of saving people money will always be relevant, but we’ll do it in new ways.”

This quote beautifully captures the essence of being customer-centric in the modern era of facility management.

Let’s say you analyze the data and notice a trend of high energy consumption during certain hours. A customer-centric facility manager would use this information to implement energy-saving measures, such as adjusting temperature settings or optimizing lighting schedules.

By taking these proactive steps, you not only reduce costs but also create a comfortable environment for your customers.

As a facility manager, you have the opportunity to leverage technology and data to better understand your customers’ needs and preferences. With the advent of smart building solutions, you can gather real-time data on energy usage, space utilization, and maintenance requirements.

This valuable information allows you to proactively address issues, optimize resources, and create a seamless experience for your customers.

Ask Yourself Questions:

  • Do I regularly analyze data and trends to identify opportunities for improving the customer experience and reducing costs?
  • Am I proactive in implementing energy-saving measures and optimizing facility resources based on customer needs?
  • Do I leverage technology and real-time data to understand customer preferences and make informed decisions?
  • How effectively do I address maintenance issues and ensure a seamless experience for customers?
  • Is customer-centricity ingrained in my mindset, guiding my decisions and actions on a continuous basis?

Remember, being customer-centric is not a one-time effort, but a mindset that guides your decisions and actions.

Continuous Improvement

One of the key aspects of continuous improvement is the implementation of feedback loops.

By collecting and analyzing feedback from stakeholders, facility managers can identify areas for enhancement and take proactive measures.

For instance, consider a facility manager who regularly seeks input from employees about their workspace. By actively listening to their concerns and suggestions, this facility manager identifies opportunities to optimize the office layout, improve lighting, and provide more ergonomic furniture.

As a result, employee satisfaction increases by 20% and productivity rises by 15%, according to a LinkedIn article.

Tips To Execute:

  • Embrace a Growth Mindset: Stay curious and open to learning, always seeking opportunities for improvement.
  • Listen to Your Team: Value employee feedback and insights, as they often hold valuable perspectives for enhancing facility management.
  • Leverage Data and Analytics: Utilize right facility management software to track performance metrics, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Foster Collaboration: Encourage cross-functional collaboration to tap into diverse expertise and generate innovative ideas for improvement.
  • Champion a Culture of Continuous Improvement: Lead by example, promote a culture that values ongoing enhancement, and empower employees to drive positive change.

Green Facility Leadership

Being a facility manager is not just about keeping the lights on; it’s about leading the charge towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Green Facility Leadership is a competency that sets facility managers apart, promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility.

In today’s world, where climate change and environmental concerns take center stage, facility managers have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact. Did you know that buildings are responsible for 39% of global CO2 emissions as per World Green Building Council? It’s a staggering statistic, but it also highlights the immense potential for positive change.

Imagine a facility manager who embodies this skill. He proactively seeks out energy-efficient solutions, such as LED lighting and smart building systems, to reduce energy consumption. He collaborates with vendors to source sustainable materials for facility renovations, considering factors like recycled content and eco-friendly certifications. He also establishes recycling programs, encouraging employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Check By Asking Yourself:

  • How can I reduce energy consumption in our facility?
  • Are there opportunities to incorporate renewable energy sources?
  • What steps can I take to minimize waste and promote recycling within the facility?
  • How can I source eco-friendly materials for facility renovations and maintenance?
  • What strategies can I implement to educate and engage employees about sustainable practices?

In short, green facility leaders prioritize sustainability and adopt green practices in their facilities. They understand the importance of reducing energy consumption, implementing renewable energy sources, and minimizing waste. It’s about creating a greener and healthier environment for both occupants and the planet.


As facility management trends continue to evolve, it becomes increasingly crucial for facility managers to possess these 11 key competencies that drive success.

These competencies, ranging from leadership and communication to financial acumen and technical expertise, equip facility managers with the tools they need to navigate the ever-changing landscape.

By understanding the importance of these competencies and continuously developing them, facility managers can position themselves as strategic leaders who drive operational efficiency, create positive workplace experiences, and contribute to the overall success of their organizations.

So, embrace these competencies, stay adaptable, and be at the forefront of facility management innovation. Your role as a facility manager holds tremendous potential, and by mastering these competencies, you can shape the future of your organization and make a lasting impact.

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