Communication Tips to Keep your Building Running Smoothly: “We Ask Them Not to Think For Us”

admin Building Maintenance Services, Commercial

Proactive communication tips, tricks & strategies from the trenches of facility & property management.

As we work with clients across all different industries, one thing’s consistent in facility & building operations – at least some portion of your time is spent “fire-fighting,” taking care of issues that arise no matter what you do to prevent them.

We asked a few of our clients for their proactive communication tips, tricks & strategies to help minimize the “fires” as beset as possible. Meetings, prizes, and donuts all made the list! Read on for some simple techniques to add to your communication toolbox.

Tauquincy Neal, Facilities Manager, St. Charles City-County Library District

“I ask them (library employees outside facility management) not to think for us … if they see or suspect an issue, I ask them to contact us to let us decide how best to handle it.

I also do an hour class during new employee orientation where I tell each employee that they are a vital part of our facilities team. They are our eyes and our ears and we need them.”

Shawn Lokke, General Manager, LaQuinta Inn & Suites, St. Louis Airport/Riverport

“We utilize daily huddles to ensure constant communication because you can never communicate enough.

The huddle’s at 9 am every day with the housekeeping department and sometimes maintenance if their schedule allows.

We discuss the plan for the day and how we’re going to attack it.

I also like to have a little fun, so I bring donuts or something like that. That way, the meeting stays light and positive, and keeps everyone focused on staying on the same path.”

Josh Thomas, Director or Maintenance, Life Care Center of Bridgeton

“We hold safety meetings every month to educate the staff on everything goin on in the building. At the meeting, we share information between staff and maintenance so that we can follow up with concerns.

We document the meetings via minutes and include an action plan, which helps ensure that the problems are fixed, not repeated, and we know how to handle them in the future.

Lastly, I post the minutes in places like break rooms and then I’ll quiz people about what happened at the meeting. If they get it right, they get a prize. This helps make sure even those who weren’t able to attend the meeting are motivated to read the meetings to learn what happened.”

Jim Hager, Business Manager, Assumption School & Church

“Two things that are priorities for me:

  • Make Lists – Share them and ask people to mark them up with changes, completions, add items, etc.
  • Take time to chat with each direct report at least a few minutes each day.

These might seem redundant or wasteful, but communication is very fragile and always breaking down. It needs constant attention and work.”

Have a great system, tip or strategy for managing your properties? Share them with us in the Comments!