Facility management is facing a critical shortage of professionals and urgently needs to attract new talent, according to a new research report by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The report, Raising the Bar: From Operational Excellence to Strategic Impact in FM, is based on a survey of more than 2,500 facility managers from around the world. The third edition of the report was released during the Annual Summit of the World Built Environment Forum, recently held in Shanghai.
The report calls for the FM profession to transform its “Cinderella” image to attract diverse new talent, as the average age of the workforce is currently 50.9 years. It also identified the need for an increased focus on the strategic impact of facility management as well as increased efforts to champion the benefits professionals can deliver in workplaces and to the people and organizations that use them.
“This is a valuable report provides empirical support for what many FM professionals have been saying for years,” said Tony Keane, President and CEO of IFMA. “It should serve as a clarion call to action for the global FM industry. Our collaboration with RICS ensures our global thought leaders within the FM industry will have the platform to attract fresh new talent to workforce management. By supporting universal standards and practices and fostering a greater appreciation of the impact of facilities and workforce management, we will enhance the outstanding service FM professionals provide to the built environment, ensuring the transformative effect on workplaces and the people who use them.”
“In the past, facility management has been seen as a Cinderella profession, which explains the problems in attracting and retaining new talent to replace professionals when they leave,” commented UK Commercial Property Director Paul Bagust. “To challenge this image, we must increase our strategic focus and champion the ways in which facility management can enhance productivity in the workplace and show the vital role that FM professionals play in the workplace.”
As working practices evolve in the digital age, facility managers will need new skills based on collaboration and forging interpersonal relationships. according to Bagust.
IFMA and RICS launched their global collaboration in April 2016. This collaboration represents a significant evolution in the FM sector, providing an unprecedented level of industry support to meet the growing demands of the 25 million FM practitioners around the world.
“Our innovative collaboration with International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is an exciting development to encourage and nurture these skills,” said Bagust. “And, by working together to standardize working practices and standards across the globe, we will unite the FM community and ensure it is ideally placed to attract a diverse range of new talent and take advantage of the opportunities that exist for this dynamic and fast-evolving profession.”
The full report is available for download here.