The FM Professional

How to Market the Facilities Department

David Spence
January 20th, 2015

4 Ways to Make the Facilities Department More Visible

1. Run Contests

Can you think of a way to inspire some competitive spirit at the office? That’s what the Pittsburgh office of material science company Bayer Corp did.1 The facilities department held a contest asking staff to turn off all of their devices before leaving work for the day. The facilities team went through each building at night, tracking which ones saved the most energy and awarding the winners with apples and doughnuts. It was a simple tactic, but an effective one, leaving executives happy with the cost-savings.

Brainstorm ways you can launch a similar initiative—for instance, perhaps you could award the department with the most recycled paper. The contest doesn’t necessarily have to focus on energy savings. Perhaps you could hold a contest involving office design. Have workers send in pictures of their desks, and you could decide the best decorated, or most organized, or most creative as the winner.

2. Hold Social Events

You could also host social events to encourage more mingling. These could be special department events, like parties or “internal award ceremonies,” writes FacilitiesNet’s Edward Sullivan. Or, they could be events that benefit other departments. Q-and-A lunch sessions, for example, could provide a great opportunity for people to ask questions about the team, the department and its services.

3. Advertise the Team

Yet another way to make your team more visible is to feature them on the company’s communication channels. Create profiles of each staff member. Talk about what they’ve accomplished at work, how they’ve shown excellent customer service skills, what they do in their free time, etc. Connect with the communication department and ask whether the profiles could be included on the company intranet, or featured on the company newsletter.

4. Attend Other Team Meetings

Reach out to your colleagues in other departments and ask if you can attend their team meetings. This will give you the opportunity to learn about needs you can address. Why is this important? These may be problems that your colleagues wouldn’t necessarily think to tell you about when they’re passing you in the hallway. Being physically present to talk about it may help the problem get resolved faster.

But there’s a deeper benefit to being so proactive: “[It] demonstrates a true team spirit, which will help foster more understanding, recognition, and respect throughout the rest of the organization,” writes Bill Bancroft in Building magazine.2

When facilities departments are more integrated with the rest of the company, the result is better communication, a more efficient operation and stronger collaboration. What other ways can you make facilities more visible so that all three of these things occur?


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