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Episode 106

The Intelligent Facility Management Transition - How FMs Start Smartly in New Roles

with Tyrel Melville, FMP with Scotiabank

Tyrel Melville, FMP is the Senior Regional Manager, Real Estate & Facilities for Scotiabank and an Adjunct Lecturer for UWI - ROYTEC’s suite of Real Estate courses. In March 2020, Mike Petrusky hosted a live webinar broadcast called “The Intelligent Facility Management Transition - How FMs Start Smartly in New Roles” where Tyrel Melville talked about why job transitions matter to facility managers in 2020, what are the top 5 challenges FMs will face when entering into new roles, and he shared advice from FMs on facing workplace transition challenges. Tyrel delivered this presentation during IFMA's World Workplace 2019 in Phoenix, AZ and he offers his top findings from a survey completed by more than 460 FM professionals about the challenges of transitioning to a new role, including the transfer of knowledge from a predecessor, dealing with team dynamics, plus client and stakeholder management.

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Connect with Tyrel on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyrelmelville/

Take Tyrel's FM survey: https://www.empiricalsolutions.biz/startsmartsurvey

Watch the full webinar video with Tyrel and Mike: https://www.iofficecorp.com/webinar-download-the-intelligent-facility-management-transition

Register for future “Workplace Innovator Interactive” livestreams: https://www.iofficecorp.com/live-webinar-2020-weekly-livestream

Watch Mike on OSW Daily, a YouTube livestream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9X1busb2H6aJbfQocWZRdw

Discover free resources and explore past interviews at: https://www.workplaceinnovator.com/

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikepetrusky/

Share your thoughts with Mike via email: podcast@iOFFICECORP.com

Read the full transcript:

Tyrel Melville (00:03):

... and understand that being strategic, offering prototypes or pilots of certain things, selling an idea to management, is an actual skill in itself. So we found these to be the best groupings we can have, and it ticked off a lot of boxes for me.

Mike (00:19):

This is the Workplace Innovator podcast, where we talk with corporate real estate and facility management leaders about the industry trends and technologies impacting your organization. This show is powered by iOffice. The leading employee experience focused IWMS software that delivers real-time data and mobile tools to help you intelligently manage your digital workplace.

            Hey folks, it's Mike, welcoming you to episode 106 of the Workplace Innovator Podcast. Another week has gone by, or has it been a month? It feels kind of like both sometimes, doesn't it? I actually read an article about this feeling of time being both slow and fast, and the author referred to it as a peculiar paradox of our pandemic times. And you know how much I love that word paradox, right? And to help us understand this paradox, she referred to something called chronemics. And this article suggested that time is moving differently for us now, partly because we've added so many tasks to our day, that we've never had to think about before. And therefore it's impacting our cognitive load, which is what Rex Miller talked about with me last week during his webinar on managing stress. The more cognitive load, the more stress we feel. And it's only when we get into routines that we don't have to think about things. That's when our stress levels are actually lower. That's why trying to change a habit is so stressful.

            And why getting used to this quarantine life has been so difficult in ways for many of us, but that my friends is a conversation for another day. Keep coming back here, and I promise to share with you a highlight reel of my time on that webinar last week with Rex. But today, I have a different webinar edit for you from last month, when I had the chance to talk with my long time friend from IFMA, who is based in the Caribbean. You know him on social media as SmartStart FM, Tyrel Melville. And we discussed his presentation called the Intelligent Facility Management Transition, how FMs starts smartly in new roles. And it was very well received by the audience of both FM practitioners and industry partners that joined us online. Tyrel shared with me his findings from a survey of facility managers that he did last year, and he presented those results at IFMA's World Workplace.

            And he summarizes some of that for us here, but I know you will also find what we discussed certainly very relevant to the transitions we are all making during the current COVID-19 crisis. So here we go.

            Hey everybody, I hope you are well, wherever you are in this world or in these uncertain times. I am thrilled to be able to bring you this presentation with my friend from Trinidad and Tobago, Tyrel Melville. Hello, Tyrel.

Tyrel Melville (03:21):

Greetings from down south, Mike. How are you?

Mike (03:23):

Is it warm where you are? Tell me that. That's the most important thing today.

Tyrel Melville (03:28):

You would never know by this jacket I'm wearing, but I'm indoors, which is where every last one of us need to be right now, but I'm staying safe and I hope you are too.

Mike (03:38):

We are as well and we're going to get through this together. And when we scheduled this presentation a couple months ago, little did we know what we'd be dealing with today, but still relevant. The content you're going to share with us, the research you've done is going to be very useful, helpful. But Tyrel, tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what you do? And then I'll tell you a bit of our story of how we got together a few years ago.

Tyrel Melville (04:04):

Every time I think back on how we met and how we first started interact, I still pinch myself Mike. So I appreciate being on the platform. I'm a facility professional, I've been a facility professional for just under 20 years now. I attended college in the United States, switched from chemical engineering to facility management and the rest is history. I have been hooked on this profession ever since, and moving back to the Caribbean, I found that I not only can actually practice facilitate management, but I can also be an impact to persons who want to get into this profession, who actually introduced to this profession. So I actually do a lot of teaching. I look forward to just the opportunity to be able to do more of that, to not only affect the workplace and the built-in environment, but also the person who operates in it.

Mike (04:56):

That's wonderful. But we have people listening from Houston, from Los Angeles, in Antigua and Barbuda. Am I saying that right?

Tyrel Melville (05:06):

You're saying it right. Well done. Well done.

Mike (05:09):

Perfect. Well, let's get them all in the mood for some great content here and brighten their day with some inspiration. I always like to share inspirational quotes. I remember you were very inspirational on our podcast together a little while ago, but you have a special quote for us today that really speaks to the times in which we live.

Tyrel Melville (05:27):

Yes. It's by Bruce Lee. Where did I have it? Oh, there you go.

Mike (05:32):

Look on the screen, you can see it.

Tyrel Melville (05:33):

"A fight is not won by one punch or kick. I either learn to endure or hire a body guard." Let me tell you why that stood out, Mike. Just in the times that we live in, we're going to have to outlast everyone, everyone. Our buildings are going to stay standing. Our buildings are going nowhere. The operations within those buildings are going be impacted and we're going to have to defend it. We're going to have to go on the offense. We have to go on defense. We're going to have to do everything in between all hours of the day, just to ensure that we have continuity of operations. And it's not going to be one punch, one kick, that's going to get the job done. We're going to actually either learn how to endure or we're going to hire help. It's just that simple.

Mike (06:21):

Absolutely, Tyrel. That's exactly right. We're in for a long journey together. We don't know if it's going to last weeks or months, but we're ready. We're going to adapt as FM professionals and the partners in this industry. We will help those that need the help most during these times. And we do something called Workplace Innovator Live, where we inspire people to get through tough times with music. And I learn about the music that people love. And when I asked you about music, Tyrel being from the Caribbean Islands or the Caribbean Islands, depending on how you want to pronounce that.

Tyrel Melville (06:54):

Exactly. Both are correct, it's fine.

Mike (06:56):

But you gave me a great inspirational artist who has many, many songs that are-

Tyrel Melville (07:02):

Oh, you remembered, man.

Mike (07:05):

Bob Marley folks. And Tyrel, which song was appropriate three-four years ago? And it's certainly appropriate today.

Tyrel Melville (07:12):

It is appropriate today, as well. It's Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. If you don't know it, let's-

            (music)

Mike (07:29):

Yeah, there it is. It's Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I've always known that song. I don't know if ever heard the title before you told me what it was.

Tyrel Melville (07:29):

Three Little Birds.

Mike (07:36):

So, thank you for doing that.

Tyrel Melville (07:38):

I only sing on these things for you, Mike.

Mike (07:41):

I appreciate that. So, this title of the Intelligent Facility Management Transition, you had presented this content at World Workplace last year, right, in Phoenix. Tell me the background of how this came together, and then we'll launch into your presentation and hopefully make it an interactive affair, because I know I have a lot of questions, but tell me the story of where this came together.

Tyrel Melville (08:03):

Excellent. Thank you. So, quite simply, every time I actually conducted a class, I started wondering, and I started pondering asking questions. How can I be of most use to the persons that I teach, as well as persons on LinkedIn, which I'll tell you a little bit more about a little later. How best can I show up for persons who are in transition? And then I even thought back on my own transitions in past, and some of the struggles that I've had, and how best can I do that? So, I rose my hand like this and I asked for help.

Mike (08:38):

Excellent.

Tyrel Melville (08:39):

Tell me what's the best way to go about doing this? And 463 responses later, I have a framework that I'd love to share with you.

Mike (08:48):

Wow. Wonderful. I look forward to it. And as we get started, just the results here of your surveying, and you're going to share us what you learned throughout this process. It's so relevant today because in these certain times, and as things are changing so rapidly, and as we must adapt and pivot to the current marketplace, our FM community needs to as always be upscaling, be prepared to innovate, be ready to take on new roles and responsibilities. And, we hopefully will help them get ready for that. So, you ready?

Tyrel Melville (09:18):

All right. Fantastic. I am ready. So, I have a question for each of you. So Mike, since you're the person I'm seeing right now, I'm going to ask you this, whether you feel comfortable sharing or not, what did you do when last you were preparing to actually go into or accept a new job. What were some of the first things that you did?

Mike (09:39):

Wow. Well, I researched the company, the industry, I was going to be a part of. I was making a jump from the world of printing, the old school ink on paper, to the world of software. And this isn't too long ago. So, I had to really educate myself on cloud software solutions, understand how that technology works. But also I knew that I had a basis for being successful because it was about the people. And it was all about knowing that I had already over many years prior been always working on my interactive skills, my ability to relate to people, to be real and authentic with people, and to empathize with people.

            And I think those emotional intelligent quotients, if you want to call them that, are relevant, no matter what we're doing today. And they'll be relevant no matter what we're doing next week, next month, or 10 years from now. So, that's what allows me to do the things I do today. So, the hard knowledge about software was less important to me and less important to what's been going on in my career the last couple of years, then those soft skills. Yeah.

Tyrel Melville (10:41):

Excellent. And I appreciate you being as candid and transparent to share that, because to be a fly on a wall for you or anyone else who's going through a job transition, you would love to know what is the best way to go about preparing for it. And I'm not talking about just your resume. I'm not talking about just the interview. I'm talking about you've gotten the job. How do you then prep yourself to actually decide and deliberately perform in your role? So transitions matter. And let's use precedents, whether it's the United States or Trinidad and Tobago as where I'm from, or whatever country you're from, president, prime minister, whatever it's called. They usually get a hundred days to prove themselves, but no one's giving it to them. They're actually making a determining gesture to ensure that within the first hundred days they would perform certain tasks, they're transparent about it. And they share that with everyone.

            Now, in retrospect, facility managers go through the exact same thing. Typically, we don't tend to run a campaign like that. Typically, we go into our jobs, we try to get to know the lay of the land and we try our best to ensure that we're up to speed with everything going on in the organization, as best as we can. And we do it in secret, in private, as best as we can. However, there are reports that actually show that your impact that you have within your first couple of days or your first couple of weeks, so first couple of months, actually sets the tone for how you actually interact with your organization from there on out.

            In some instances you actually find some persons actually failing quite early into their tenure for stuff that perhaps had nothing to do with their role or how they actually performed. It's probably based upon [inaudible 00:12:30] that actually their predecessors actually had to go through or things that were left to language due to issues that predated their tenure rule. So facility managers actually must have an actual transition plan as to how they go about actually getting into new jobs and performing.

Mike (12:49):

Yeah. Before you move on, though, I've got a thought on that because it's about the culture of an organization. Right? And those cultures can vary greatly depending on what industry you're in, what part of the world. And I think as human beings, our default, when starting a new position or getting to know a new culture, a new situation, is to just kind of wait for it to come to us, wait to see and find out what this situation is going to be like, and be passive where I think what you're encouraging is, and spoiler alert folks. This may be something that [crosstalk 00:13:19].

Tyrel Melville (12:49):

Wait, wait, wait.

Mike (13:19):

... I haven't seen. I hope you'll be saying that it's about being proactive and not waiting for that information to come to you or that culture to be known to you. Be a part of the culture from day one and really try to have an impact and ask a lot of questions. Because that's what I love to do. So, I know it's hard sometimes, especially being the new person, but that's important. So, I hope I didn't spoil too much, but that's where I hope you go with this.

Tyrel Melville (13:46):

No, you haven't. You haven't. As a matter of fact, I'm going to give everyone a Jamaican quote, why not? Right.

Mike (13:46):

Sure.

Tyrel Melville (13:50):

So there's a Jamaican quote that says, "We run things, things no run we." Right? So essentially we're in charge, we're running things, we're running the show, the show doesn't run us. And that's the mentality that we should have, to be deliberate in our actions, proactive. So here are, as a result of this poll, the top five early challenges that FMs experience. One, is their capabilities as a manager. Their ability to negotiate, their ability to communicate, not just execute their job, but to actually manage people, manage situations, be strategic, et cetera. The second one is FM orientation. This, it was a surprise, but it wasn't so much of a surprise. And perhaps we can actually discuss it afterwards. But Mike, I have found that a lot of FMs in new roles have not met their predecessors.

Mike (14:49):

That doesn't surprise me. I think that a lot of people leave a job and never looked back. And it actually ties into a question here. If we could make this more interactive.

Tyrel Melville (15:02):

Yes.

Mike (15:02):

How do you deal with a bad legacy that your predecessor left? And I imagine if it's a bad legacy, that predecessor is not available for phone calls and aren't interested in helping you to move things forward. So, is that part of the results here?

Tyrel Melville (15:17):

Yeah, that's actually one of the results that we found is actually the next bullet on the bottom left hand side called knowledge transfer. We found that there were not necessarily poor records, but they were difficult to interpret. We found that the records weren't even in in a workplace management or CMMS software. I know that's a challenge to hear, Mike, and there's an opportunity for you and your team to actually fill a need in a big way. But we found that not only did they not meet their predecessors and they weren't made to get oriented to the organization, they literally had to figure their own way out, but they also didn't receive good records. They have to overcome those challenges. Next, is team dynamics.

Mike (16:02):

Just a quick comment.

Tyrel Melville (16:04):

Sure, please.

Mike (16:04):

Before you go to team dynamics, the software technology is available today, and I've learned a lot in recent months, talking about getting prepared for new things. I'm going to be starting a second podcast, Tyrell. I'm not even sure I told you this, called the Asset Champion podcast, which is all about CMMS systems and asset management-

Tyrel Melville (16:21):

I like the name.

Mike (16:22):

... as part of facility management. Thank you. And I'm learning, because we've acquired here at iOffice two other software companies, Manager Plus, and Hippo.

Tyrel Melville (16:32):

Congratulations.

Mike (16:32):

And they are in that CMMS space. Thank you. And it's been interesting to learn their strengths versus the traditional iOffice workplace management tool, which has some of those elements to it, asset management and work orders, and so forth. The information, the standardization of that information, capturing it in a tool, many people do it either on an Excel spreadsheet or just somebody's mind. The FM has it in their head and then they move on and we're lost without it. Right?

Tyrel Melville (16:32):

Yes.

Mike (17:02):

So, the power of these tools, and if those conversations, if any of your listeners or any of our audience members want to talk about that, please reach out after this webinar and we'll be happy to direct them, but please continue. Team dynamics, another of that human factor I'm really interested in hearing about.

Tyrel Melville (17:17):

So, where team dynamics are concerned, persons who are resentful, not only for their new bosses, but in some instances, they actually applied for the vacancy.

Mike (17:28):

Wow. That could be awkward.

Tyrel Melville (17:31):

Exactly. So not only the transition of the persons who are going into the new role, but the transitions for the persons who wished to have been in that role, who now how to endure or stay within that operation. And they're actually challenging status quo. And of course, lastly, client and stakeholder management. We actually found a reoccurring theme of persons who say, "My boss doesn't understand me," or, "My boss doesn't understand FM," or, "Management does not get it."

            However, where that tended to have been more of a ubiquitous question, there were a lot of sprinkling ins of persons who've actually had that figured out and understand that being strategic, offering prototypes or pilots of certain things, selling an idea to management, is an actual skill in itself. So, we found these to be the best groupings we can have, and it ticked off a lot of boxes for me. And in sharing it in the presentation in Arizona, it ticked off a lot of boxes for a lot of persons. And I was actually quite appreciative of that.

Mike (18:32):

Excellent. So Tyrell, I can't thank you enough, sir, for being with me today. Thank you for joining on the webinar and for your great contribution to our FM community.

Tyrel Melville (18:40):

I'm always humbled that you ask me to do these things. So kudos to you and the iOffice team, mate.

Mike (18:47):

There you have it, everyone. Just a few of the highlights from last month's webinar with Tyrel Melville on the Intelligent Facility Management Transition. And if you would like to watch us on webcams and hear the complete presentation from Tyrel, please check out the show notes for this episode, as I have shared a link to the full hour long video recording. Also there, you will find a link to join me and my cohost Madison, as we welcome our guests each week for a live stream broadcast.

            We call it Workplace Innovator Interactive, and you can be a part of the conversation each and every Wednesday at noon Eastern time. I hope to see you there. And I hope you'll share with your colleagues about the content we are creating for you. Whether it's this podcast, the webinars we produce, or the weekly live stream broadcasts, it's all done in the spirit of bringing our community together, and to help inspire you and encourage us all to be a workplace innovator. Peace out.

            You've been listening to the workplace innovator podcast. I hope you found this discussion beneficial as we work together to build partnerships that lead to innovative workplace solutions. For more information about how iOffice can help you create an employee centric workspace by delivering digital technology that enhances the employee experience visit iofficecorp com.