Blog by C-J Green, CEO UK, Servest
Many young people have been heading off to university this Autumn, only some of whom know what they want to do for a career after finishing their academic studies. Too few have been given the option of taking an alternative path into work after A levels. One thing’s for sure, not enough of them will be actively exploring the possibility of a career in facilities management. From conferences I’ve attended, many FMs fall into the profession by accident – a happy accident, granted, but an unplanned venture all the same. Perhaps that’s because FM doesn’t have a firm place in the academic curriculum, or because roles in the built environment don’t usually sit within the radar of school career advisers.
More work needs to be done to demonstrate the exciting and rewarding careers available in the world of facilities management – especially to young talent. There are approximately 25 million people currently working in FM and it is estimated that in the coming years, this number will reduce to as little as 7.5 million, due to half the workforce approaching retirement. Although there are courses available – for instance, the training courses on offer via BIFM – there is a significant lack of awareness of facilities management as a career option and it is down to us all to get better at communicating and start spreading the word!
Facilities management is rarely positioned as a career of choice – this perhaps explains why people say ‘huh?’ when you try and tell them what you do for a living! That’s why at Servest, we invest considerable amounts of time and effort into our multiple schemes focused at engaging and enticing young talent into FM. For instance, our Future Leader programme – which provides young individuals with a two-year training scheme, fully integrating them into our company and teaching various skills in HR, marketing, finance and more. This scheme has proved to be highly successful thus far, and has even been accredited by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management – meaning the individuals we take on as part of it, start a career in facilities management while also studying towards a degree level qualification.
In many ways, our Future Leaders are our window into the rest of the business – they are the future of our workforce in the making. Because we invest in our people, they are passionate about giving back whatever they can. Our employees are more likely to be engaged if we, as employers, are invested in their development. Since investing more efforts into our learning and development initiatives, we have seen a 21% increase in internal promotions. This is beneficial not only for employee morale, but also for staff turnover and business general performance.
In the past seven years, Servest has grown from 2,000 to 23,000 employees in the UK alone. Globally, we now have over 50,000 “Servestians” who all work towards a common goal. A vast array of employees who now sit at the top of the organisation have grown up with the business, progressing from position to position. This clearly proves that if you nurture, encourage and support your staff internally, they will reward you with their loyalty and dedication in return. The fundamental element to remember is, facilities management is all about people. And if companies are to both attract and retain talent, they need to give their employees something to get excited about. We believe a career in FM can tick those boxes.
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