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The Human Sensor versus the Facility Manager

Businessman with rimmed glasses looking at computer.


We here at CrowdComfort talk a lot about the human sensor, or the general concept that people are the best evaluators of a facility’s working conditions. What about the evaluation of the people behind the buildings? The human sensor also acts as the exemplar evaluator of facility managers. In a previous post, we outlined how the facilities themselves can be “rated” through tools like Yelp and Foursquare. So, what attributes can the “human sensor” evaluate on the building managers themselves?


If you need a reference on the skills and qualifications, look no further than here, as the abilities of a facility manager are the backbone of how they can receive criticism from human sensors.


Let’s dive in then.


Empathic Decision-Making —

Occupants of buildings will always have some interpersonal communication with a facility manager. This can lead to several misunderstandings that require a critical thinker to “learn” about their occupants.  This “learning” constitutes specific/individualized occupant concerns about health, comfort, and safety. Each human sensor is a unique personality, and a facility manager that neglects that will be on the wrong end of evaluation.


Financial Savvy—

Overspending on paper towels? Underspending on cleaning crews? No spending at all on repairs around the office and buildings? The human sensors — building occupants — will let you know. Properly, or poorly,  budgeting and financing facilities can be visually indicated, and are part of the always growing list of responsibilities for facility managers. Manage costs right, and your human sensors know you are doing an excellent job.


Use of Communication Tools —

Tying into empathic decision-making, how you communicate with your human sensors is a big part of how people critique you, the building professional.  If you’re hard to reach on an email, or you have little to no responsiveness on your cellphone, expect to be disliked fairly quick in your building. Doing something simple like adding a dashboard that can be updated, or adding other communication tools that you do respond on, you can quickly change how your occupants “rate” you.


Ultimately, someone is going to have a problem with their building space in some shape or form. Facility managers shouldn’t put themselves in the same position, and get the human sensors on their side. Using human sensors can improve your career/job responsibilities, and can provide feedback that increases overall building appreciation.


Continuing on the discussion of the human sensor, what ways are you building professionals evaluated by your occupants? How are they operating as human sensors in your work environment? 



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