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ThinkFM: "FM's job is to keep you happy"

Monica Parker, founder, Hatch
Monica Parker, founder, Hatch

13 May 2015

The facilities manager's job has changed from maintaining the infrastructure of buildings to keeping workers happy, delegates at Think FM heard today.

Monica Parker, founder of workplace strategy firm, Hatch, warned a room of mostly FM suppliers but also consultants and architects and designers, that the "world was changing at a rapid rate" and one must "embrace change or be consumed by it".

Parker said: "There was a time when you [facilities managers] were charged with looking after the infrastructure of buildings but now your job is to make people happy."

She said collaboration in the workplace had been over emphasised when businesses should be focusing on cause (the reasons for disengaged workers), control (giving workers more autonomy increases productivity), contemplation (stimulates new ideas) and community (a sense of connectedness among employees eventually leads to greater collaboration).

Parker said the work of FMs would be helped if businesses looked at  'return on engagement' as well as the 'return on investment' to make their workplaces better environments and increase staff retention.

The conference continues this afternoon.