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Building and retaining the FM workforce is the mission of many companies. How can they achieve results?

by Eileen McMorrow — Facilities managers were key to keeping traditional workspaces as support mechanisms while people were working or learning from home. In many cases without adequate FM training to perform all the functions that cropped up. Supporting staff with workspace digital access and while at home also caused them to encounter some of the longest work hours ever between coordinating with management, IT teams, remote service providers, energy and power management companies, and building operations support. Further, they had to ensure buildings were secure, protected, and accessible if there were limited staff needing access.

Is it any wonder that facilities managers joined the ranks of health care professionals as among the most exhausted?

ProFMI 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey full report

The Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) conducted its Training Outlook Survey to determine the need for facility management training and credentials from both the management and staff points of view. The latest survey was conducted in February and March of 2022 to identify FM workforce trends, determine the current need for FM training and credentials, and gauge how sentiments may have shifted over time.

Building and Retaining the FM Workforce was among the four categories researched. One of the biggest challenges facing employers in 2022 is hiring and retaining staff. The pandemic has inspired many people to seek new opportunities. In FM, where the retirement gap was already looming pre-pandemic, positions have opened across all career levels.

By knowing what new and experienced FMs are looking for, employers can differentiate themselves, increase retention, and build an effective workforce. The survey asked:

How has the “Great Resignation” impacted the FM profession?

How can employers attract and retain top talent to help meet their organization’s strategic goals?

  • 66% of FM managers and staff have left or have considered leaving their job in the past year.
  • The top 3 ways for organizations to retain facility professionals are:
    1. Increase compensation or benefits.
    2. Provide opportunities for professional development or training.
    3. Offer opportunities for internal advancement.
  • 54% of FM leaders expect to have open FM-related positions primarily due to staff moving to other organizations, senior staff retiring, and organizational growth requiring more staff.

Open FM-related positions can be categorized as: Technical/trades at 34%; Entry level at 30%; Middle management at 22%; and Senior management at 14%.

The survey respondents included readers of FMLink, The McMorrow Reports, Building Operating Management’s NFMT, AFE and the Nevada Professional FM Association. They indicated that 65% of FM employers have had difficulty finding individuals with the required technical skills, while 35% of FM employers have had difficulty finding individuals with required management skills.

Further, the top three reasons given for open positions are: Lost staff to other employers, retirement of senior staff and growth requiring more staff.

Across industries, employees are seeking new job opportunities. Understanding and delivering the opportunities identified by facility managers will help employers increase retention.

ProFMI 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey full report free download

FM staff identified the top three factors that would influence them to stay at their current organizations:

  1. Increased compensation/benefits
  2. Development/training opportunities
  3. Internal advancement

ProFMI recommends that employers take action around training. The loss of staff can mean lower productivity, lost institutional knowledge, recruiting and onboarding costs. ProFMI believes ProFM can increase retention and job satisfaction by offering incentives a such as benefits, training, and advancement opportunities.

Click here to download the 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey Full Report and read all the results.