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22 March 2019
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Join the Think Tank to have your opinion reflected here — 

Credit: Alamy

7 August 2017 | FM World team


This month we asked whether there is a requirement for more supervisory level FM personnel from a hospitality background, and what you think makes a strong FM at this level stand out. What are the trends in the way FM supervisors are trained, appointed and deployed in your organisation and industry sector? 

Ravi Bhatnagar

Make more of an investment into the FM ambassadors

The FM supervisor or floor captain role as we like to call it is incredibly important. These individuals become the main point of contact day to day for our clients and touch every part of our service delivery. The floor captain becomes the ambassador for our business and our future facilities managers. This is the first stepping stone on the career development ladder at Anabas to prepare individuals by training them from the ground up, equipping them with the necessary skills to progress smoothly to FMs.

Industry-wide, we should be investing heavily in staff at this level to make sure that they have full knowledge of compliance, health and safety married with common sense and exceptional customer service. An Anabas floor captain wears many hats and touches all of our service lines. They are trained as an expert in multiple areas and are able to balance them accordingly. Facilities managers should ensure that this level of the business is invested in and individuals are developed to become the next leaders.

Ravi Bhatnagar, account director at corporate office specialist Anabas

Bruce McDonnell

The ‘inheritance’ conundrum

The role of the supervisor is extremely important and one which is changing as people expect more from the facilities team.

All too often we inherit people through TUPE who have been promoted to supervisor level because they have enjoyed success as an operative. This isn’t always going to work, especially if they don’t fully understand what is expected and how to deliver it.

A supervisor is probably one of the most important roles within an FM structure. They are the ones that lead the team and engage with the team directly, interface with our clients every day, and are the custodians of the service.  

For me, however, giving people fancy titles isn’t the single most important thing. In my view it is important to give the right people the role in the first place, providing them with proper development and training, defining and agreeing expectations of the role, empowering the individuals and giving them the freedom to deliver.

You want people to take pride and ownership in what they do, and if we do the above points, then we should achieve this. 

Regardless of sector, service stream or prestige, fundamentally the role of the supervisor is to make sure the environment is safe, secure, clean, and one which delivers the best possible service to the end user.

Supervisors are the real ambassadors of our company and of our clients’ service delivery.

Bruce McDonnell, managing director of Incentive FM

Daniel Hope 

Understanding your audience

Hospitality can be a key part of the service provided under the ‘total FM’ umbrella. In the world of the outsourced FM team, this is where you support your client in order for them to impress their potential customers and clients. In turn, their clients may be impressed by what they have experienced and you may suddenly find that you have been approached to deliver a similar service to a new client. Good hospitality requires coordination, professionalism and, above all, a strong leader at the top to provide guidance and support to the team.

A strong FM supervisor is one that can make strategic decisions, someone who understands their audience, who they are catering for and the level of service appropriate to the setting. There is, as expected, great emphasis on QHSE, policies and procedures in FM training, but not so much on hospitality. This is an area I think a lot of FMs become detached from, but this is where you really deliver direct customer service, and where you can make a real impression. Sadly, many business opportunities may be missed if FMs do not develop a better understanding of the hospitality industry and fail to leave their mark.


Graph 1

Daniel Hope, a facilities account manager for Macro