Are You a Human Facility Manager?

Are you more like a human or a machine? Here is the ultimate test!

Human Facility Management refers to the collaboration between Human Resources and Facility Management.

In December 2016, EuroFM featured an article on the most important focus area for facility managers. Many were surprised when it listed Human Facility Management as that focus area. Human Facility Management had been largely ignored up until that point.

Read the full article here!

The focus on Human Resources in Facility Management was predicted to play a large role in 2017 as well.

This blog was, therefore, created to help you understand how you can start a collaboration between your Human Resource and Facility Management departments in order to create a powerful Human Facility Management plan.


Why is HRM important for FM?

Many companies create segments for Human Resources and Facility Management, and every manager has his or her own responsibilities. If you are responsible for HR, that is your sole focus. On the other hand, if you are responsible for FM, you only concentrate on that. Unfortunately, the two aren’t meant to be run independently. Proper cooperation between the departments is necessary in order to foster happy and safe employees. A lack of communication can lead to disastrous results.

In fact, according to ISO over 2 million employees died at work in 2016 due to the lack of proper health and safety management. These deaths could have been prevented if HR and FM had been working together. FM’s knowledge is necessary when making health and safety decisions, and without it, people will continue to get injured and die at record rates in the workplace.


Financial Consequences

Failing to collaborate in a functional way can have massive financial consequences for the company.

For example, in 2013, the United States reported spending 62 billion USD on injured workers around the country. Can your company afford to pay 1 million USD if your workers get injured? Consider your answer to this carefully.

Not prioritising Human Resources Management can end up costing you a bundle. On the flip side, prioritising it will save you money. Thus, it’s a good idea to invest time and money into proper health and safety training for every employee in your company so you can avoid work-related accidents.

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Be Realistic

Of course, a smooth collaboration between HR and FM is not going to happen overnight. If you run a large company, it will take quite a bit of effort to implement such a major change. Managers and employees in the departments may be used to the traditional way of doing things and they will likely be resistant to change. In order to make sure that you succeed, you must start with a comprehensive checklist that includes information about the facility and necessary personnel. Share this list with the HR department, and ask them to include it in their work.

In addition, consider if VUCA would be a good component to your HR and FM strategy. You are already automatically implementing parts of the strategy in your work when using a good and comprehensive checklist in your operations. 

For inspiration for a good checklist, read the blog on How to Make A Building Inspection Checklist. You can also download the checklist example from that blog, at the end of this blog. This checklist gives you insight to how you can make your facilities safer for everyone.

You can make a collaboration happen, but before it can start, you need to make sure that your HR department understands why it is important. Start by implementing the checklist, and analyse it after a quarter to see if it worked. If it did, start a bigger discussion on how a more extensive collaboration would look. Important aspects to consider include health and safety for all employees as well as the costs you had last year due to workplace accidents and injuries. Be sure to stay in compliance with your country’s OHS legislations and include these as points in your checklist.

Best of luck!


If you need help creating a digital checklist for incident reporting or facility audits, don't hesitate contacting us. We are always happy to help.

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