When experienced facility managers talk about the need to attract new talent to the field, it’s young people like Nicole Meyers that they have in mind. Meyers is a facilities specialist at Enterprise Holdings. Her goal is to make employees more productive. She’s excited to work with new technology. Her focus is on preventing problems rather than putting out fires. And she’s eager to market facility management successes. In other words, at the beginning of her career, she is already focused on many of the same priorities as leaders in the field.
I caught Meyers speaking on the FM’s Next Gen podcast series hosted by Naomi Millán, senior editor of Building Operating Management. Their conversation offered a template for rebranding facility management. I wonder how many young people realize that facility management offers the opportunity:
• To work, not just with heavy equipment, but with sophisticated digital technology.
• To contribute to the comfort, wellness, and health of people in offices, schools, hospitals, and all sorts of other buildings.
• To take meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, and more generally to shrink the environmental footprint of buildings.
• To have a job with so much day-to-day variety that Meyers described it as “an awesome whirlwind. It’s always exciting. There’s always something to learn.”
There’s another point to keep in mind when trying to attract young people to the profession: Most facility managers like their job. How much do they like it? A Conference Board report this summer noted that average job satisfaction nationally was the highest it’s been in this century: 53 percent. Compare that benchmark to job satisfaction levels among facility managers. Our surveys have consistently shown that roughly 90 percent of facility managers describe themselves as very or somewhat satisfied, with only about 10 percent reporting that they were somewhat or very dissatisfied.
The FM’s Next Gen podcast series is well worth a listen for young facility managers. It’s also a great resource for anyone trying to get new talent, even high school students, interested in the profession. Check out the series here.