Perhaps not everyone thinks about it this way, but facility management personnel are at the forefront of the company’s risk and reputation management strategy. How you manage and maintain your company’s facilities has a direct impact on how customers, employees and other visitors perceive the organization’s concern for the safety and comfort of the occupants of its facilities. Here are a few ways that business leaders can ensure that each facility enhances, rather than damages the reputation of your business.
Safety and Security First
Of course, the number one responsibility of those tasked with facility management is to protect occupants, customers, patients and other visitors from the dangers involved with faulty equipment, facilities that have fallen into disrepair, or security lapses. Hazardous conditions can create legal liability, of course, but also can cause visitors to avoid certain locations altogether. In order to equip facility managers to respond to unsafe conditions, leaders should establish guidelines and escalation procedures and make the right technology available to track unresolved issues.
The way your locations look can have an enormous impact on the reputation of your brand. Are you a company that is modern and forward-thinking or one that is growing stale and stuck in the past? Visitors and employees alike will make assumptions about which camp you fall into based on the appearance of your facilities. Rather than thinking of facilities management as purely reactive, smart leaders think of it more strategically as a way to signal the company’s values to everyone who works or visits there.
The Move to Green
Research indicates that modern customers and workers overwhelmingly prefer to interact with companies that demonstrate corporate social responsibility when it comes to environmental issues. The facility plays a role in an organization’s reputation for environmental stewardship. Everything from new building construction to daily operational choices can be used by the public to evaluate a company’s green choices. It makes sense to evaluate your facility management strategy with this in mind and to look for opportunities to exhibit echo-aware decisions.
Reputation management is a discipline that has many fronts. Whether your facilities are stores, medical offices, factories or corporate office spaces, they can be an important strategic asset for communicating and demonstrating what really matters to your organization. Don’t overlook this powerful opportunity.