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Supercharging FM teams during a labour shortage

Instilling a sense of value and purpose at the office

Many organizations have been experiencing a labour shortage due to leave of absence, sicknesses, early retirement, and job changes. COVID-19 has also challenged facility professionals with adhering to protocols and safety measures, dealing with constant shifts and the opening and closing of the economy—all of which are impacting managing the facility.

We all want to retain and employ well-qualified staff and create a strong and healthy work culture within our FM departments. But how can we also develop a high-performance team that will stay in the company?

How do you keep your FM team engaged and committed amidst a labour shortage when other companies are actively recruiting qualified candidates to join their workforce and leaving gaps in your FM operations?

Instill a sense of value and purpose in FM work at the office and develop strategies to maintain this purpose is important. The most important ingredient in maintaining high-performance staff is knowing how healthy the company’s culture is. You will recruit and retain valued team members when the purpose of your company addresses its culture within.

Impactful and meaningful company action attracts and retains professionals that are interested in playing an active role, not only in the inner workings of the company, but brands the product and services your company provides. If your office culture has a shared purpose with strong values and goals, it will develop strong meaningful relationships within internal and external stakeholders. This will carry forth to your customers.

Here is a list of ideas to help maintain and motivate your current FM team

  • Regularly review company values; the challenges and transformations.

  • Encourage collaboration, trust, camaraderie, and connections, thus empowering your team to make necessary decisions should challenges arise.

  • Recognize successes.

  • Open lines of communication with feedback will maintain motivation, positive reinforcement, interest, and cooperation and provide room for discussion on the team’s standards and accountability.

  • Set up collective goals and performance evaluations.

  • Offer discussions about any changes or challenges.

  • Acknowledge health and wellbeing practices at home and/or the office environment.

  • Detect early possibilities of conflict and set up conflict resolutions that are key to keeping the lines of communication open and trustworthy.

  • Discuss and assess with your teams the last couple of years: lessons learned, what the team is proud of, progress, and the impact of their efforts.

  • Plan virtual and/or face-to-face team building sessions.

  • Encourage professional development through seminars and courses.

  • Recruiting the right people with a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds: agile personalities to take on new challenges, people who know how to be a team player, and managers that can instill team leadership are critical as we move towards the next normal.

Being attuned and maintaining best practices in the workplace will further reinforce team retention. Here are some to consider:

  • A four-day work week with blended responsibilities amongst the department.

  • A blend of working in the office and remote working.

  • Higher wages, perks, and benefits aligned with team priorities.

  • Excellent compensation and competitive salaries.

  • Adequately sharing wealth that employees bring to company (this relates to societal change/culture).

  • Desire to work towards common goals and opportunities.

  • Regular performance coaching and mentorship.

  • Career coaching and training: internal advancement opportunities, a path for career growth within the company and upskilling and professional development opportunities.

It’s an employer’s market out there. Keep your company and FM team vital. Have your eye on creating retention and job stability within. Keep work interesting so it encourages communication and connection between everyone on the FM team and the company’s purpose. Creating a sense of community and belonging will increase staff retention and make the work environment a pleasant one to be in.

Published in the April 2021 edition of CFM&D Magazine

Written by:

Marcia O'Connor

Owner at AMFM Consulting Group Inc.

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