Industrial Controls » Educational Facilities Management Workload Tips

Educational Facilities Management Workload Tips

Educational Facilities Managers provide added value to the institutes in which they work. Use Our 5 Tips for Educational Facilities Management.

Educational Facilities Management Workload Tips

Educational facilities managers provide added value to the educational institutes in which they work. By managing place (the educational institution), processes and cross-departmental functions, efficient facility managers indirectly affect the quality of education delivered to students, as well as the public perception of their school.

 

Facility managers are responsible for many areas, including but not limited to:

  1. HVAC Systems
  2. Lighting
  3. Configuration and Design of Classrooms
  4. Security
  5. Cleaning
  6. Maintenance
  7. Acoustic Systems, AV Systems and IT Equipment
  8. Servicing Internal Customers

Although in any educational institute there are separate staff members to deal with the many listed responsibilities, the facility manager has to delegate responsibility, and has to ensure that all processes function as intended.

 

With so much on your plate, you have to make quick decisions and juggle many tasks simultaneously. Being a facility manager, you must already know that workload management is one of the greatest challenges you face on the job.  In our ongoing effort to see you succeed, we’ve compiled some workload management tips for you.

 

Tip # 1: Use Project Management Apps and the Latest Technology
Education facilities managers can use project management apps to their advantage. There are several free to download apps available online that can help you plan, organize, and manage any project. All you have to do is provide the necessary input (number of human and material resources, deadlines, benchmarks etc), allocate the tasks, and monitor the progress.

 

A recommended free to download app is ManagerPlus. It is user friendly, and has been designed especially for facilities management. Other project management applications may be generalized, but this app specifically addresses the different tasks and projects facilities managers deal with on a regular basis. It also offers a free walk through for training.

Maintenance Management Software

Facility Management Software

Several facility management software applications are also available which can help you streamline your processes and assist in appropriate allocation of resources. These software applications can be expensive so you may want to consider the size and budget of your institution.

 

A recommended product in this regard is the FM: Interact Workplace Management Suite. This software suite helps in logging, dispatching, tracking, and reporting service requests. It also helps in record keeping, inventory management, and decision making guidance. You can perform all your scheduling, delegation, and monitoring with this software. Note that your staff must also have this software installed in order for you to be able to communicate and assign projects and tasks.

 

Tip # 2: Delegate Responsibility and Monitor Progress
Education Facilities ManagerWe emphasize monitor because too many facility managers like to roll up their sleeves and dive into work with a hands-on approach. It is important to remember that you do have a team qualified to fulfill key tasks.

 

For example, if heat exchange coils are damaged you assign a ticket, or send an email notification to the responsible personnel so that they can get started on maintenance. Any material resources required for the job should be presented in the request, and staff should have the option to notify you if there are any extra requirements to finish the job within deadline. Communicate expectations, use positive reinforcement and corrective learning to get the most out of the people you manage.

 

Tip # 3:  Professional Development
There are several professional development programs you can enlist in, in order to develop yourself personally and professionally. Various facility management organizations such as APPA and thought-leadership groups such as American School & University who offer online courses, video tutorials, special events and publications that can be used to study the latest trends affecting your trade. Time invested in professional development will allow you work more efficiently, and can unlock many new opportunities in your career.

 

For example, if increasing Energy Efficiency is a huge priority at your institution, invest time in learning key ways to cut energy costs in your school.  Consider training in ENERGY STAR compliance for K-12 School Districts or Higher Education.  Then use your new-found expertise to hire a team who can do the work aligned to your strategic objectives.

 

You can also visit the Industrial Controls Training Center.  Industrial Controls is the only HVAC Controls Distributor with so many local training centers, virtual classes, and such an extensive library of online learning tools.

 

Investing time in professional development will keep you motivated.  It will provide you and your educational institute with a competitive advantage.

 

Tip # 4: Set Deadlines and Leave Room for Breaks
There are automatic deadlines (such as a visit from a delegation from the educational board), there are issues that have immediate deadlines (electric failure in the building, mold infestation etc.), and then there are deadlines that you can decide.

 

While assigning tasks to your staff make sure you communicate an exact deadline. Ensure they are motivated to finish the task before the deadline so that they can use the rest of the time as a break.“I ask you complete this task in one hour, but if you do it within 45 minutes, you can take the remaining 15 minutes as a break.” This tactic is essentially helpful for educational facility managers who are often on a strict budget and cannot allocate resources for rewards.

 

Tip #5: Assign Tasks While Keeping the Organizational Structure in Mind
Most facility services staff members complain that they are switched from team to team and task to task (Hoots, 2005). This gives rise to employee frustration, and it is not an efficient way of management; but sometimes it is just unavoidable. As a facility manager, you can strive to ensure you do not reassign the same task to different people, or the same people to different tasks again and again. Not only does this affect employee motivation, it reduces efficiency and increases your workload as a manager.

 

Conclusion
Facility managers in an educational institution provide added value to the institution and can often be the deciding factor when it comes to the quality of education being delivered. Use of the latest apps and software applications to delegate and monitor tasks can help you take control of your workload and, ultimately, work more efficiently.

 

By effectively communicating expectations, such as deadlines, providing breaks as incentives and investing time into professional development to keep you initiatives and staff in line with your interests, facility managers can keep their team motivated and performing. A very important tip to remember is to not reassign the same tasks to different people, and to not switch people from one team to another where possible.

 

We hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any questions for Industrial Controls Education Concentration specialists we invite you to email educationcontrols@icdmail.com, call 877.650.6059 or visit www.industrialcontrolsonline.com.

 

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References:
Mike Hoots, (2005),”Customer relationship management for facility managers”, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 3 Iss: 4 pp. 346 – 361.

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