As we covered in previous posts, addressing facilities conditions to help improve student performance and behavior is a major challenge…and opportunity…for facilities and education leaders. Many operations and facilities departments have had stagnant or decreasing budgets for several years running, resulting in deferred maintenance backlogs and deteriorating facilities.
Asking for more funds and resources can help address facilities backlog and improve classrooms; however, simply asking your Administration for more money is not easy. How many times have you asked for additional budget dollars to be turned down? Asking for additional staff or increased budgets without doing your part beforehand will almost always fail. Instead, we recommend following 4 steps to request additional resources.
I’m going to start with Step #4 – present your request for more money, resources, or staff to your Administration or School Board. Wait, what? When needing additional resources, the LAST step is actually asking for those resources? Yes, that’s correct because Steps 1-3 will help you prove your case.
Let’s briefly outline each step:
Step #1 – Improve or change your department’s image
Does your department have a perception gap between what people think your needs are and what your actual needs are? If the answer to this question is yes, you need to better market your operations organization. Make sure the faculty, your internal team and your Supervisors know the work your team is doing by sharing reports, feedback, and customer survey responses. Automating your work order process with a maintenance management solution will help:
- Improve work order turnaround times
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Decrease time to pull reports
Step #2 – Establish a respected methodology
Make sure you have a consistent, well-documented process to respond to requests and assign work. For example, do you have a methodology for performing preventive maintenance? Measure your progress in this step as well to ensure your methodology is working. Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help you measure your performance against peer institutions to make sure your methodology, process and implementation are working well.
Step #3 – Educate decision-makers
Now that you’ve educated your customers and faculty and established scalable processes for managing requests and workflow, it’s time to showcase this information to decision-makers at your school or district. You can do this by sharing reports, graphs and departmental KPIs to demonstrate your school’s progress compared to peers and trends over time.
Step #4 - Present your request for additional dollars and/or staff
Now that you’ve completed steps 1-3, you are armed with the information you need to make a compelling case for additional resources. Make the information simple and relatable, utilizing reports and data available to you in your asset management solution.
As we as facilities leaders aim to provide a safe, secure and healthy school environment for our students, these tips can help in your mission. Jim Whittaker, facilities management expert and past chair on the IFMA Board, will be speaking on this very topic of facilities conditions.
Register today for the live webinar on Wednesday, August 10 to hear Jim discuss facilities management trends and how you can develop an action plan to ensure students have a safe and healthy environment.