• International Workplace
  • 25 July 2013

Workplace Law publishes ThinkFM Research Report

As part of our ongoing investigation into how those working in the facilities management (FM) sector today can go beyond compliance and deliver real business value to their clients and stakeholders, Workplace Law conducted its second annual research study during the first half of 2013 into the value that great FM delivers.

Through a number of focus groups, and thanks to 242 survey responses, Workplace Law has compiled an in-depth report looking at the key activities within FM, including health and safety, HR and environmental performance. The report is now available to purchase - click here for more details. 

Some of the top findings include:

  • The great work done by FMs is still not recognised or understood by companies or the wider economy.
  • Good FM plays a vital role in creating a healthy and safe workplace, and is the natural home of sustainability.
  • 80% of organisations do not currently assess the attitude of their staff towards sustainability issues, and the benefits of Environmental Management Systems are not clearly understood.
  • Senior management have a vital role to play in creating a learning culture, identifying and nurturing talent.

The research also delved into the priority activities covered by FM, and considering what is included in the FM training budget is one particular method of gauging businesses main concerns.

Our results show that both client and supplier allocate the highest proportion of their FM training budgets to the area of health and safety today, with both spending over a third of their budgets in this area.

Looking at the opinions of what people feel is the key to success in FM is another great way of realising where priorities lie, and from looking at responses to our survey, there was strong agreement across client organisations that finding and keeping good people is still the key to success in FM, and a top people management issue that they face today.

Over the past few years, environmental performance of organisations has become more important both internally and externally, and as a result, investing in environmental and sustainability issues is now a key priority for FMs.

Although 80% of organisations do not currently assess the attitude of their staff towards sustainability issues, and the benefits of Environmental Management Systems are not clearly understood, the motivations behind sustainability do appear to be recognised. Over 75% of clients cite a reduction in operational costs as one of the primary reasons they would look to improve performance in sustainability, while the need to comply with current regulations, and gaining some reputational advantage from doing so, were also reasons given.

However, only 32% of clients currently use an Environmental Management System to monitor their performance. Interestingly though, where companies are using them, they believe it has improved their reputation and helped to create more awareness and commitment to environmental performance among employees.

Download the summary report for a taster of what you will find in the 40-page Leadership in Facilities Management report, which explores the multitude of factors currently affecting and involving FM professionals and the industry as a whole.

Leadership in facilities management is all about the ability not only to deliver first rate services, but also to demonstrate the value those services contribute to the organisation's success. This is a key message for FM in 2013, and the overall focus of this year's research.