Facility managers are in charge of the day-to-day operations and financial performance of buildings which means they are often caught up in a tug–of–war between creating a comfortable facility for occupants and reducing spending.
While engaging in this balancing act to ensure the success of their facilities, they neglect the fact that their goal cannot be achieved if facilities are not compliant.
That means facility manager must understand all of the codes and policies that the facility may need to conform to but this is easier said than done especially in these changing and challenging times when the world is battling the covid-19 pandemic prompting governments to change and implement new codes and polices in bid to beat this constant mutating novel virus.
Eliezer Workplace Management facility managers achieve compliance goals whether global or local by creating an effective three-step compliance program (Educate- Implement-Assess &improve).
A history/ culture of non-compliance has serious consequences and can attract penalties for an organization, but we know it will be difficult for facility managers to know the requisites of every facility code so Eliezer Workplace Management has identified four areas that compliance is highly essential.
1. Health and Safety Policies
Employers have the obligation of keeping the employees safe and healthy and depending on the industry, this can take different forms. The main tool in this area is standardization as stay up-to-date with the health and safety regulations provided by the law, especially in highly regulated industries like health care can help reduce incident risk.
Health and Safety is a group effort so although employers have a legal obligation to ensure worker welfare, accidents will continue to happen if workers don’t take responsibility for their actions.
Facility managers should have employees comply with the organization environmental, health and safety policy and procedures (HSE), as well as have an emergency preparedness programmer.
An emergency preparedness programmer is key to equipping your staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to act quickly to keep themselves safe and healthy and when needed.
2. Work Force Management
Facilities management organizations must ensure that every member of the workforce, whether vendors, in-house staff or subcontractors comply with anti-discrimination laws, human resource-related regulations, and company policies.
It is worthy to note that these labour laws are split between federal and state in Nigeria and sorting through federal and state workplace regulations is a cumbersome task.
Eliezer Workplace Management recommends the use of workforce management to help navigate and track the daunting web of regulatory compliance issues like employee classification, employee leave, employee safety and employee pay.
Also, procurement and vendor management policies and procedures should be created, implemented and enforced so as to reduce the risk of financial miss management and non-compliance by vendors, hence saving the organization of unnecessary expenses.
3. Information Security and Governance
Organizations gather data/information to help them better understand their customers and business but this comes with the challenge of how to efficiently manage the continually expanding amounts of data they have to store.
In this case, data/information related to the compliance programmer must be kept up to date, complete, accurate consistent, and most importantly secure by facility managers so that regulatory agencies can access the information.
The importance of this process is necessitated by the fact that if the information about an organization compliance program cannot be accessed by regulatory agencies then that facility could be shut down for non-compliance or the company is fined a penalty and this is a failure of our goals as facility managers which is to keep the facility operating efficiently and minimizing cost.
4. Ethics /Code of Conduct
A code of conduct defines the desired behaviour in an organization as it acts as an internal guideline as well as clarifies an organization’s mission, values and principles.
This means codes of conduct or ethics can be used as yardsticks against which individual and organizational performance can be measured and if found wanting or non-compliant could to lead significant damage to an organization reputation which will invariable affect their bottom line.
Hence facility managers should ensure strict compliance with the code of conduct of the organization whose facility they manage. as well as display a strong dedication to good industry practices.
The benefits of maintaining compliance for an organization are endless, it ranges from operational efficiency and safety to avoiding future necessary costs so facility managers should see compliance as a way to achieve their goals and objectives integrate them into their daily work orders and preventive maintenance plan.