Understanding the value of continuing education for facility managers

February 5, 2019

A facility manager’s main responsibility is as clear as the thermostat on the wall, the light fixture in the ceiling or the carpet on the floor. But that doesn’t mean that the job of facility management is confined to the bricks and mortar of the physical environment, according to an article from Building Operating Management on the FacilitiesNet website.

The expertise and skills typically associated with MBAs — like an understanding of financial concepts and the ability to effectively communicate with staff, other departments, and top executives — are becoming increasingly important for facility managers. Why? Ultimately, it’s because a broad skill set can help facility managers use buildings to add value to their organizations, say members of the ProFMI Commission.

There’s one very simple reason for facility managers to acquire financial knowledge. Many facility managers are “responsible for a lot of spend,” said John Hajduk, a member of the ProFMI Commission and vice president, operations and facilities services, Sodexo. Along with their in-house employees, many oversee numerous contract workers. They need to effectively manage both groups to keep their facilities operating safely and reliably. 

Most facility managers also help decide in which building systems to invest. To make an informed decision, they need to understand how the return on that investment will be calculated. Moreover, the annual cost to operate a modern building can hit several hundred dollars per square foot, Hajduk says. To succeed, facility managers need to know how to run their buildings efficiently and reliably.

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