Editor's Letter

01/02/2015 | By Chris Olson

A New Year's Resolution for FMs

Chris Olson, Chief Content Director

As perennially popular as it is to make resolutions for a new year, the chances of achieving success are abysmal.

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans regularly make some kind of resolution. The success rate for those folks is just 8%. What do the 8% have that the other 92% do not?

One reason is that winners shun unrealistic, TV-style extreme makeovers. John Norcross, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton, says setting unattainable goals will quickly lead to frustration. No surprise there. But by “unattainable” Norcross doesn’t necessarily mean that winners set pint-sized goals. They set measurable and incremental goals. Instead of resolving to lose 20 pounds off the waistline, they plan to lose 5 pounds or to work out twice a week. When that is achieved, they plan to lose another 5 pounds or to make each workout more strenuous.

How much weight would come off your shoulders if your organization never viewed the FM department only as the people who change light bulbs and take complaints about temperatures that are too hot or cold? And could you make achieving that behavior change a new year’s resolution?

A lofty goal, but one that can be broken into steps and increments, as described in this month’s article, “Cost Center to Profit Center” (page 24). For example, compile metrics, not just expenses. Treat every expense as a benefit to your customer, and every savings as a bottom-line boost. Develop a Facility Cost Index that supports the asset value of your facilities and shows the connection to the productivity of the costly asset known as employees. Break your campaign down into steps and schedule them over the coming months.

You may be daunted by the prospects for success but consider this: Norcross says that adults who desire a change in behavior are 10 times more likely to achieve it if they make a resolution to do so.

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