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The labor shortage impacts FM, too. Seventy-two percent of FM managers can’t find people with the right tech and/or managerial skills

ProFM 2021 FM Training Outlook Survey
ProFM 2021 FM Training Outlook Survey

The facility management skills gap is real for the vast majority of FM teams. The 2021 FM Training Outlook Survey final report, published in June, reveals that employers and staff acknowledge the need for FM training to achieve better job performance, confidence, and career advancement. With leadership skills, strategic planning, emergency management and communication topping the training priority list, how will employers address the gap in 2021 and beyond? What role do FM credentials play?

The Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) and Building Operating Management (BOM) magazine conducted the first Facility Management (FM) Training Outlook survey in 2019 to determine the need for facilities management training and credentials from both the employer and employee points of view. With the unprecedented hurdles facility managers faced in 2020, the survey was enhanced and repeated in 2021 to identify current needs for FM training and credentials and how sentiments may have shifted from 2019.

This study answered several key questions across four categories. Results are summarized below:

  • The Value of FM Training: Facility management roles are changing, and the value facility professionals bring to organizations is growing. It is critical to give FMs the knowledge they need to excel.
  • Addressing the FM Skills Gap: The challenges facility professionals face today underscore the need for both practical FM skills as well as big-picture strategic management skills.
  • Importance of FM Credentials and Qualifications: When management and staff see the benefits of credentials and qualifications, there is a win-win opportunity to reward staff while increasing retention and performance.
  • Pivot to Remote Work: Facility managers who transitioned to remote work were more aware of skills gaps and the importance of professional credentials.

Addressing the FM skills gap

In a 2017 study involving more than 3300 professionals from around the globe, 24 FM knowledge areas and competencies were identified as critical to the role of facilities management. Gaining experience and expertise across this full body of knowledge can take an entire career if left to on-the-job learning. ProFMI points out that identifying skills gaps and addressing them with training opportunities is the most efficient way to address growing needs.

Employers are formalizing their FM departments’ knowledge and skill requirements:

  • 64% of employers have a formal definition of the FM knowledge and skills required for their FM team or department (up 16% from 2019).

Funding for FM training is limited and declining:

  • 58% of employers say they provide funding for staff to pursue external FM training or credentials/qualifications (down 8% from 2019).

Importance of FM credentials

While professional credentials are often thought of as an individual goal for career advancement, credentials are a win-win opportunity for individuals and employers.

Knowledge and skill development means better job performance and productivity while credentials communicate credibility to clients. For employers who support their staff, satisfaction and retention rates increase.

FM credentials help facilities managers stand out from the crowd:

  • 72% of FM managers say a credential or qualification is an influential factor in hiring or promoting FM staff.
  • Only 21% of FM staff have earned an FM credential, making it a real differentiator among job candidates.

FM staff are willing to invest if their employers won’t:

  • 71% of FM staff believe that FM credentials are more important for the FM profession than in previous years.
  • 74% of FM staff say FM training and credentials provide preparation for career advancement.
  • 85% of FM staff would or have already invested their own money in FM career development/training (Up 42% from 2019).
  • 94% of FM staff would pursue an FM credential if their employer supported them financially (Up 24% from 2019).

According to FM staff, the top three benefits of FM training and credentials are:

  1. Preparation for career advancement
  2. Credibility with employer/clients
  3. Better job performance

Download a free copy of the 2021 FM Training Outlook Survey final report now from the ProFMI website.