Facility managers in both managerial and technical positions tend to stay in their jobs for long periods of time and accumulate a wealth of institutional knowledge throughout their tenure. However, recent studies have shown that nearly 40% of facilities management professionals will be retiring in the next eight years, which presents a serious problem in the industry; this is a significant number, especially given the number of positions that aren’t getting staffed due to a shortage of qualified candidates.
Now, facility management teams are scrambling to find ways to pass knowledge along to new hires and maintain continuity throughout the transition; but how? What’s going to happen when existing facilities management staff members start retiring?
Unfortunately, if a company doesn’t prepare for this ahead of time, it can result in partial or even complete data loss. They may be forced to hire an electrician to (redundantly) map and trace circuits because that knowledge wasn’t transferred to the new hire; and thousands of dollars and working hours may be lost in the scramble to get everything back up and running. The bottom line is, succession planning needs to start today in order to prevent potential revenue or data loss. Here’s what you can do right now to take action.
1. Implement a software that will digitize all important data and documentation.
One of the biggest problems with knowledge transfer is that many companies still have all of their as-builds, documentation, and maintenance logs on paper or in three-ring binders, stuffed away at the back of a giant, disorganized plan room. While this may have worked in the beginning, it’s not an effective long-term solution for keeping your data organized.
Implementing a cloud-based software like SmartCSM will allow you to upload all of your as-builds, maintenance logs, and other data, as well as keep track of who is performing which task when. Once it’s on “the cloud,” there is zero possibility of it going missing or being lost. Once a new facilities manager comes onboard, everything he needs to know – including the entire map of the building’s electrical infrastructure – will be right there on his smartphone or tablet.
2. Bridge generational gaps within the company.
While it might seem challenging, there are a number of ways to cultivate a workplace where multiple generations of facilities management professionals can contribute using their various strengths and abilities. Start with focusing on three areas:
- Cross-generational mentoring: taking this approach means all team members participate in both mentoring others and being mentored which increases the depth of expertise across the team.
- Team building: activities focused on team-building can aid in retention as team members find common ground while collaborating to solve challenges with a purpose.
- Recruiting: younger team members’ insights about attracting more millennial job candidates can complement the knowledge experienced team members have the required skills and expertise.
3. Start building a modern facilities management team sooner rather than later.
Begin thinking of this transitional period as an incredible opportunity to build up a facilities management team for the future; a team that is both technologically-savvy and ready to implement modern techniques, tools, and tricks of the trade.
That means it’s a good time to start tapping into the next generation of facilities management professionals. A good starting point is implementing technology in your facilities management program (including data management software mentioned above) to attract, recruit and retain millennials.
When employees retire, especially those who have been with the company for decades, the loss of institutional knowledge can be devastating. As the average age of facilities managers increases, developing the next generation of leaders has become more important than ever; now is the perfect time to start succession planning!
To learn more about bringing your electrical infrastructure management online, request a free SmartCSM demo.