The changing face of facilities management in the workplace
It’s not just the role of facilities management that is changing. It’s the whole way in which people see the workplace. Across all industries, businesses have recognised that there is a direct link between an employees’ experience of the workplace and their performance and productivity.
Creating an effective working environment is now a business priority, and the role that facilities management plays within that means our profession is now involved at a more strategic level. We find that once people realise how much opportunity there is in facilities management they tend to enjoy it and want to build a career it in; from front of house teams to workplace coordinators and cleaners there is so much opportunity to grow personally and professionally within the industry.
Perception of the facilities management industry
Within the industry, perceptions have changed a lot in the past few years. People finally seem to have recognised the potential value we can bring; looking beyond the nuts and bolts to understanding the vital role that facilities management professionals play in making places and people work better.
From a customer perspective, facilities management has been guilty in the past of being too inwardly focused and not spending enough quality time understanding what its customers expect and need. This has affected the perception of the industry. Businesses want to work with providers that understand their operation and brand, and who can use this knowledge to add value where it matters most. At Interserve, we want to be known not just for the things that we do but how we do them.
Attracting and retaining staff
When it comes to the general public, facilities management has always struggled with a perception problem; this can be a challenge when recruiting. The industry is, relatively speaking, quite young and it’s going to take a long time to build up a reputation that rivals other established sectors, such as construction and engineering.
As an industry, we need to always remember to look up and out, to acknowledge, understand and engage with the wider built environment network of which we are a vital part. Institutions such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the qualifications it offers encourage employees to engage and connect with this network, and to think about the trends shaping the property and construction worlds and the impact this has on them.
The facilities management industry continues to evolve and we need to attract a diverse mix of talent to meet the new challenges we’re going to face. In many industries, the lack of a university degree would be a barrier to entry and further professional development. Institutions such as RICS, however, have a range of entry points for anyone with the right level of experience, talent and passion to professionalise themselves. This is vital to attracting a more diverse range of people into our sector.
Interserve was one of the first facilities management organisations to partner with RICS. For us, a RICS qualification gives customers confidence that they’re handing over responsibility to a team that understands the strategic importance of a building and are able to manage it in a way that contributes to performance. We see the link with RICS as an important way of getting employees to think more about the whole lifecycle of a building and how to make it work harder for its users.
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Workplace facilities management – whether you’re a landlord, managing agent or business we can help your property, your workspace, and consequently your people perform better.