A new global RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) report has revealed that facilities managers share a global need to prove the value of Facilities Management (FM) to board level directors.
Launched recently (29 January 2014) in Washington DC, the ‘Raising the Bar: City Roundtables Research Report (Phase II)’ calls for innovative new dimensions of measurement to prove FM’s effectiveness and its impact on productivity and profitability. This will give facilities managers the tools they need to engage with business leaders around the world, who are currently too often divorced from and disinterested in FM. This is due, in part, to facilities managers being denied access to board level. The research found these barriers, which prevent the practitioners from “acting more strategically”, are consistent across both geographies and industry sectors.
Authored by Occupiers Journal Ltd, the report builds on findings from RICS’ 2012 research, ‘Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management (Phase I)’, which provided robust evidence for high-performing organisations to introduce FM as a strategic management discipline. The research also provided recommendations to support leading FM practitioners in becoming more strategic.
The latest report considers previous recommendations and surveyed FM professionals across six continents and 12 economically different cities, including London, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney and São Paolo, where they identified “A Dozen Challenges” to the profession answered by “A Dozen Recommendations” to the FM market.
Johnny Dunford, Global Commercial Property Director at RICS said: “After staff, property is the biggest expenditure of most businesses, hence the importance of integrating FM within the overall business strategy. This research proves that there can often be too many layers between senior FM staff and the CEO. Change cannot be made until FM is taken seriously at board level and to achieve this the industry must raise its profile with business leaders.
“As a global body acting at all levels of the industry, RICS is uniquely placed in leading the professionalisation of FM. Based on recommendations within the report, we will work with business leaders to raise the profile of FM by defining professional standards and clarifying FM’s role in helping make organisations more effective.”
Based on the findings of the research, RICS will also:
· work alongside FM leadership groups, from end-user and service-provider perspectives, to construct a maturity model that will identify the building blocks necessary to achieve FM market maturity.
· build the perception of the FM brand in order to attract high calibre newcomers into the profession.
· continue to develop qualified facilities managers, building in the proven ability to ‘think and act’ strategically.
· develop and advocate a more ‘balanced scorecard’ for addressing the effectiveness of FM.
The report also offers the author’s own interpretations and recommendations for FM moving forward.
Paul Carder, Managing Director at Occupiers Journal Ltd said: “Practitioners and businesses are telling us that the time has come for facilities management to embrace a strategic approach. Today, for instance, the average head of facilities spends over fifty percent of his or her time on day-to-day issues and less than twenty-one percent of their time on strategy and planning. This needs to change for FM to fully realise its potential.”