How did FMs’ work location during the pandemic affect their team training priorities?

by Brianna Crandall — August 6, 2021 —The 2021 FM Training Outlook Survey final report, published in June 2021 by the Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) and Building Operating Management (BOM) magazine, reveals that employers and staff acknowledge a skills gap — 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? And what difference did respondents’ location during the pandemic affect their team training priorities? Find out more below.

ProFM survey tileThis study answered several key questions across four categories. Results are highlighted below.

1/ The Value of FM Training: Do FM managers and staff recognize a need for facility management training? What is the impact of training, and how accessible is it to the FM workforce?

  • 91% of facilities managers say there’s a gap between the knowledge and skills their team has and what they need to excel.
  • Training can make an impact, with 79% of FM managers saying that FM training and credentials result in better job performance.
  • 61% of facility managers are planning to implement FM training this year.

2/ Addressing the FM Skills Gap: What are the top priorities for facilities managers and staff when it comes to FM training?

  • FM managers identify Capital Planning and Compliance & Standards as their top training priorities for themselves.
  • FM managers say their team’s top training needs are Leadership Skills, Strategic Planning, Emergency Management and Communication.
  • FM staff say their top need for training is Capital Planning.

3/ Importance of FM Credentials and Qualifications: Is there a place for professional credentials and qualifications in FM? What value do FM credentials provide and how desirable are credentials for FM professionals?

  • 72% of FM managers say a credential or qualification is an influential factor in hiring or promoting FM staff.
  • 74% of FM managers say FM training and credentials provide preparation for career advancement.
  • 94% of FM staff would pursue an FM credential if their employer supported them financially.

4/ Pivot to Remote Work: How did the pandemic impact the jobs of facility managers and how did workplace shifts influence FM training priorities?

  • 48% of FM professionals worked remotely at least one day per week, while 47% remained onsite throughout the pandemic. 5% of FM professionals were already working remotely prior to the pandemic.
  • For the 47% of FM professionals who remained on-site, Communication was the top team training priority, while those who worked remotely identified Emergency Management as their team’s top need.
  • 72% of remote FM professionals said that credentials were more important now than in past years.

Pivot to remote work

Facilities management is largely a hands-on job, notes ProFMI. While many facility managers were able to work from home a few days a week, the majority had on-site responsibilities, evaluating and adapting their facilities to new health and safety protocols and keeping their organizations operational. Whether on-site or remote, FM managers overwhelmingly identified a need for FM training (see point #4 above).

Work location had an impact on training and credential priorities:

  • 94% of remote FM managers say there’s a gap between the skills their team needs and what they currently have.
  • 72% of remote FM managers say that credentials are more important than in past years.

Average time worked remotely over the past year:

  • 1 day/week: 12%
  • 2 days/week: 25%
  • 3 days/week: 29%
  • 4 days/week: 13%
  • 5 days/week: 21%

Top team training priorities for remote FM managers:

  • Emergency Management
  • Leadership Skills
  • Capital Planning
  • Contract Management
  • Strategic Planning

Top team training priorities for on-site FM managers:

  • Communication
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Leadership Skills
  • Project Management
  • Compliance and Standards

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

[See also this related article on The McMorrow Reports: “The labor shortage impacts FM, too. Seventy-two percent of FM managers can’t find people with the right tech and/or managerial skills.” ]