Name: Bernie McManamon
Job Title: General Service Manager at Sodexo
- What was your first job?
My very first job involved working as a shop assistant in a local supermarket.
- How did you get into the Facilities Management industry?
I was heavily involved in the design and management of a facility upgrade project when working as a Project Engineer with Shell. The project was very challenging as it involved ensuring the client’s needs were being met as much as possible whilst maintaining a set budget. A close friend of mine then suggested that I would be really suited to a General Services Manager position that was advertised within this facility, so I decided to apply and was successful! I am really glad I made the move from Engineering to Facilities Management as I thoroughly enjoy my role. It is one which involves a lot of variety – no two days are ever the same. I really do love it!
- Who, in any other industry, do you most admire?
It would be Elon Musk, as he is a very grounded and down to earth businessman, engineer and innovator. He is leading the way in the electric car industry with Tesla Motors and is also working on a solar city. I believe he is certainly a person to admire, especially the way he discusses technical items in an understandable way which is very helpful for non-tech people.
- If money was no object, what car would you buy?
A brand-new Ford Fiesta – yes, I am serious! I have just parted with my old Fiesta which I have had since college and had to compromise on the type of car to purchase with my Fiancé. Men aren’t particularly fond of driving Ford Fiesta cars.
- How would you improve the Facilities Management Industry?
I think the FM industry would benefit greatly if we had more opportunities to share learnings across our own businesses and others. I am just at the beginning of my Facilities Management career and feel that there is so much to learn and share in order to ensure our clients are satisfied with our services. At Sodexo we strive to provide a quality of life service for our client and customers.
- What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was younger I really wanted to be a Vet as I loved being out on the farm and looking after the sheep with my father.
- If you could have a super power for a day, what would it be and why?
If I had a superpower it would have to involve happiness. Everyone’s perception of happiness is different, so I would love to make people feel happy for a day. This is partly due to the growing issue of mental health in today’s society. I attended a ‘See Change’ workshop and found it really opened my eyes to mental health and our attitudes towards it. This is an outstanding and free workshop which I would recommend any company. Mental health is something which I bring up with my staff on a weekly basis at team meetings.
- If you could host a dinner party with any three guests, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
I would have to invite; Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Sodexo CEO Michel Landel. That would be an amazing guest list with such knowledge and learning. I think it would also be a very late dinner party as I would have so many questions for each person!
- What do you think is the future of the Facilities Management industry?
The Facilities Management Industry is expanding all the time as workplaces further meet the needs of employees and customers. I think technology will also be a massive influence on the future of Facilities Management. It is going to be so important when trying to connect with the millennials and generation Z as customers and employees.
- How is the FM world changing with / responding to the new generation of managers coming though?
As I noted previously, technology will be so important in responding to the new generation of managers – they will want new and innovative ways of doing things. The FM world will need to embrace and learn from this generation of managers. In addition, I think workplace wellness is also another important growing trend which FM managers will need to adapt to in order to succeed.
[As seen in November edition of Tomorrow’s FM]