Second, business unit leaders require clarity on which goals are important relative to others. The company goals generally flow from the organisational strategy. From a facility manager’s point of view, specific FM goals may differ based on the particular business unit supported. Some business units may desire to minimise costs, such as in an unoccupied storage space. Other business units may require high expenditure of labor and materials to maintain reliable performance, such as in a production area.
Third, organisational leaders require accountability and ownership of each organisational and business unit goal. A goal without a name assigned to it remains unmeasured and at risk of not being accomplished adequately. Executives typically assign facility managers broad goals in categories such as energy management, environmental sustainability, and performance of service levels (quality of maintenance, timeliness of response, etc.). Each subordinate business unit leader may require separate performance goals to support the unit’s particular requirements, which may differ markedly from other unit’s requirements.
Organisational goals link directly to the organisation mission (National Research Council, 2005). This is true at the corporate level as well as at the business unit level. Each business unit leader’s specific goals relate to the part of the organisation’s mission assigned to the unit. In other words, the goals are relative to the assigned mission. Facility managers support specific goals for each business unit as well as broad goals.
The global business consulting company Towers Watson (2011) reported on the link between facility management performance and employee engagement (the level of dedication an employee has to the organisation). In one case study, an employee survey of 51,000 employees (in 43 counties, covering 15 languages) included indicators of engagement linked to 64 production measures and 79 maintenance measures, or KPIs. The authors of the survey suggested a connection existed between the work environment and level of employee engagement. Facility managers should interpret this study as linking the expected quality of the work environment to the broader corporate goal of enhancing productivity. The link of FM to employee productivity may be an unstated goal in some organisations, whereas in others it is a key metric.
Facility mangers require KPIs to demonstrate their contribution and value to the overall success of the organisation. Points to consider when creating relevant metrics, or KPIs include (The Value of Key Performance Indicators, 2011):
- Start with measuring where are you now (starting point benchmark)
- Determine where you want to go (your measurable goals, which may be compared to other similar organisations, or past performance in the company)
- Decide who receives the data and what do they do with them (are the telling you anything actionable or of value)
- Derive conclusions from the data and how they are communicated appropriately
- Quantity does not equal quality
- Measure a few key/important metrics
- Ensure people in the field and management agree on what is important
- Test the KPIs to determine the value of measuring them before implementing them
- Understand the value of what a metric tells you to the cost to gather the data (in other words, is the metric worth the effort to collect the information?)
Appropriate use of KPIs enables facility managers to show the value of the facility team to the company executives. The managers who neglect the metrics risk high-level recognition, but not necessarily the kind they desire.
(This original article appeared in the Clean India Journal, 1 May, 2012)