Hiring a new facility manager can feel like a daunting task, especially since this person will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of your FEC.
From effectively marketing your job listing to conducting interviews, the hiring process can take a little time. It’s not often that your ideal candidate is the first person who comes along—rare gems are hard to find!
3 Tips for Hiring Your Next Facility Manager
We know just how hard it can be to hire the right person for the job, so here are three tips to help you when hiring your next facility manager.
1. Look for talent among your team
Before you begin searching far and wide for your next facility manager, why not try looking near and narrow first?
Determine whether there is any potential managerial talent among your current employees.
While there are standard interview questions you can ask that'll help you determine whether the candidate is qualified, this is rarely enough time to truly get to know someone. Remember, interviewing is a skill! Someone may be great during an interview, but then fall short when it comes to putting those words into action.
If you have a qualified candidate already working for you, promoting from within gives you greater confidence in your selection, as you already have a clear idea of who you're investing in.
Even if your most qualified junior staff member needs a little training or coaching to get them to where you’d like them to be, extending the opportunity for them to learn more and rise to a higher position may be worth the time, effort, and investment.
When you hire a facility manager from within, you send a message to your employees that hard work can be rewarded, in this case, with a promotion. This acts as an incentive for employees to perform at their best in hopes their efforts will be noticed.
Hiring from within can also save you time. With every new job, there is so much to learn and very little time to learn it. By promoting from within, your employee already understands the nuances of effectively running your facility. This allows them to focus more on managerial training and improving their leadership skills, without having to spend time learning operational basics.
This isn’t to say an outside hire isn’t capable of doing this. Depending on the circumstance, an outside hire might be the right decision. However, if you’re confident in the potential of an already trusted, hard-working employee, you’ll gain a great deal of respect from your team for rewarding motivated and dedicated employees, and are likely to see increased staff retention.
2. Cultivate a positive company culture
What do your current employees think of working at your family entertainment center?
Is it exciting, a good place to work—the kind of job people look forward to going to? Or is it known for being stressful and a negative work environment?
Cultivating a positive company culture is an important area to focus on when and prior to hiring a new facility manager. Ask the candidate what ideas they have for contributing to and maintaining a positive work environment. This is beneficial for both the new facility manager and for the rest of your employees, as it allows you to see a glimpse of what improvements they can make to the synchronicity of your staff and to the customer experience at your facility.
Don’t forget—YOU are being interviewed as well! Your facility manager candidate wants to know they’ll be in charge of a happy, successful team, and want to see you prove that you want and value this as well.
A few ideas for cultivating a positive company culture include:
- Employee of the Month: Do you have an employee of the month program at your facility? Publicly recognize a different team member each month for the hard work they’ve done. Consider adding a little prize along with it, such as a gift card. This makes earning the employee of the month award more desirable and sought after (which will make them work harder for it).
- Acts of Employee Appreciation: Small acts of kindness that show your staff you appreciate them go a long way when trying to cultivate a positive workplace culture.
Offering free employee lunch once a week, acknowledging top-performers, and celebrating work anniversaries and birthdays with the entire staff shows your team how much you value them. Everyone enjoys working at a place where they feel valued and appreciated.
- Foster a Sense of Community: Another way to cultivate a positive company culture at your family entertainment center is by fostering a sense of community.
What is a sense of community? Simply put, it’s when everyone feels like they’re on the same team, supporting and helping one another whenever possible, as well as holding each other accountable for their actions. No one enjoys working in an environment where they feel uncomfortable and unsupported.
Communication is key when it comes to building a sense of community.
As an FEC owner, do you make efforts to get to know your employees? If arguments or disagreements come up, do you have a conflict resolution plan in place? These are just a few things that your facility manager candidate will look for when judging if your FEC is the right fit for them.
Are you into Podcasts? Check out Act One from This American Life’s episode Amusement Park, titled "Gameboy Grows Up." It’s a perfect (and entertaining) example of how Cole, an amusement park Games Manager, developed a sense of community among his workers. It highlights some important qualities you’ll want your next facility manager to have.
3. Look for someone with great leadership qualities
There is a significant difference between just having the title of Facility Manager and being a true leader.
Imagine your FEC staff has a difficult task to accomplish such as pushing a wagon up a hill. A facility manager tells the team members to start pushing and keeps an eye on their work, making sure everyone gives it their all. The manager is doing his job, right?
A true leader, however, will not only make sure everyone is giving it their all, but they’ll also make sure to join the team to help them push the wagon to the top of the hill.
Can you imagine the difference this makes for junior team members? It’s hard to want to do something for someone who is barking orders at you while sitting back comfortably, exercising minimal effort. When a facility manager is "in the trenches", working equally as hard as everyone else, it motivates the team to reach their goals.
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