The role of facilities managers is changing. Over the last year, FMs have been at the frontlines of a global pandemic and tasked with keeping stakeholders at properties across the globe as safe as possible. Ensuring that these stakeholders – employees, customers, and property managers – feel at ease means effective communication in every direction. The ESCFederal team is breaking down what that looks like and how you can achieve it yourself.
Communication – Do It Often, Do It Right
Facilities management is a source of the truth, now more than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many organizations often think that “there’s no such thing as too much” in terms of communicating, the answer is a little bit more muddled than that. Sure, you want to clearly and concisely communicate with all property visitors about property changes, protocols, new product choices, and more. But, the communication loop has changed drastically over the last year.
- Explain the “why.” Property managers, employees, and customers understanding the “why” is important regardless of the specific audience. Why are you changing protocol? Why did you choose a specific product or methodology? Explaining this effectively gets them on board with the solutions you put in place.
- Avoid information overload. Your audience can’t possibly consume everything. Sorting through information and passing it on at the right time, in the right way, is critical. We’re all overwhelmed by emails and video conferencing after the last year. Your subject lines should be to the point, your data up to date, and all information should be relevant.
- Use different systems. Communicating the same message over and over is imperative for your audience to retain the information. One week, present your information one way. The next, switch it up! Different audiences need different types of messaging, with tailored messages relevant to that specific person or group.
Asynchronous Communication is Key
Having a living, breathing source of the truth that can be referenced by employees, customers, and property managers at any time is just one suggestion from IFMA World Workplace 2020. Whether that’s a google doc or a landing page on your website, this living source can be updated to communicate all changes in real-time. Did you update a protocol? Add a new product to your repertoire? Is there new pandemic information that needs to be shared? Point back to your landing page as the truth through bite-sized, micro communications like emails, social posts, signage, and more.
Ask for Feedback
Communication is a two-way process and the feedback loop is important in understanding if your messages are gaining the traction or understanding necessary for success! Feedback is a great way to learn whether or not your property visitors understood your message and are receptive to the cadence and frequency of your communications. Open-ended questions and surveys allow them to give feedback on whatever subject is needed. Avoid biases in questions to gain powerful feedback you can use to better communicate in the future.
Effective Communication: People First
The important thing to remember about communication is that it truly is all about the people. Getting your message to a specific person in a way that they care about is the most important aspect of communication in the facilities management world. At ESCFederal, our Project Managers nationwide oversee all aspects of the services at your property. The outcome of this engaged, collaborative approach to communication is high-quality service, sustainable results, and a strong relationship with all of your organization’s stakeholders. See something, say something: when you create a culture consistent with optimizing your experience and brand through effective communication, everything else falls into place seamlessly.
Do you have questions about facilities management and communication strategies? Reach out to the ESCFederal team to chat!