Dealing with constant facility management requests can be stressful. Just keeping track of all your request management communication channels can start to feel like a full-time job —whether through an IT ticketing system, facility management software, text message or email, as a facility manager you are constantly receiving requests.
Effective request management is essential to your business; as such, it is important to have clear and direct systems in place to handle requests. Here are a few tactics you can use to make the process as efficient as possible.
Providing employees with regular updates on the progress of their requests can lead to higher employee satisfaction and a greater appreciation for facility managers. These updates can include an initial acknowledgement and receipt of the request, follow-up questions and status updates on notable progress.
You should also notify employees of any delays or roadblocks in order to manage their expectations about the timeline and feasibility of the changes they’ve instigated. Making your employees feel heard, understood and valued is a key component to the request management process, so take the time to let employees know that you care about their needs and concerns.
Whether you are updating your employees through the phone, in person, a facility management tool or Slack, creating a standard communication method for requests will help simplify the process. Find the best communications method for your office and stick to it. Otherwise, you might end up with questions coming at you from all avenues—phones ringing, a queue of people outside your door, a full inbox and multiple Slack notifications.
You should also consider putting communication rules and policies into place. Establish whether or not employees should make requests on their own or if team leads should be communicating directly with the facility manager on their behalf.
Maintaining clear communication practices can save your organization both time and money, and help avoid confusion that may lead to project delays. If your company has remote employees, the use of organizational tools can help you stay in sync with your team in spite of physical distance. Here are 4 tried-and-tested tools that can help simplify your company’s internal communication.
Slack is a communication organizational tool that streamlines conversations into “channels”. A channel can be created for a particular topic, project, department or sub-committee. Employees can also use Slack for instant messaging.
Google has a suite of apps for businesses that includes Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. Google Docs is a word processor that allows for real-time collaboration on your browser, with all changes automatically saved.
Workplace by Facebook is a mobile and web app designed to keep your team connected. It combines features of Facebook, such as the News Feed, Search and Trending Posts, with messaging and chat functions that allow your team to communicate in unique groups based on projects, departments and tasks.
Video conferencing is a way to meet face-to-face with someone even when you’re in different locations. Options for video conferencing include Skype, GoToMeeting, Zoom or even FaceTime.
Ultimately, the communication tools you pick will depend on your company’s particular needs. Using real-time organizational tools will help streamline and simplify internal communications, resulting in a more efficient and organized company.
IT-specific ticketing software can be far too complex for facility managers to use as their request management system. Using a facility management tool helps to simplify the entire process. These tools allow you to track specific metrics and include a progress tracking component that allows for a more transparent request process. Be sure that the software you select is customizable for your specific workflow and doesn’t make your process more cumbersome. The idea is to make request management more efficient, not less.
Eliciting and tracking feedback is another essential piece of the request management communication puzzle. Allowing employees to provide comments and feedback at the conclusion of a request can help you assess the productivity of your staff, the effectiveness of your workflow and potential areas of improvement. Tracking this data over time can help you see office pain points and to proactively address reoccurring concerns.
Facility managers need to both react to the feedback of their staff and establish clear, efficient communication methods for managing requests.
Emphasizing good delegation and standardizing the request workflow will help to streamline the process and eliminate confusion.
By standardizing your request management communication methods and utilizing strategic resources, you will be able to streamline the request process and run a more efficient office overall.
Photos: Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Shutterstock