Looking at the participants in terms of the size and spread of their organisations, there was a fairly even distribution of companies surveyed with majority of organisations operating across multiple sites and over a third being international.
1. Pressure on budgets appears to be increasing. While last year 6% of organisations allocated over 20% of their budget to the purchase of FM services, budgets were lower this year. The value of FM service delivery must be clear to avoid a vicious circle of budget erosion and associated decline in service quality.
2. The need for the intelligent client continues to cause debate. In a change from the 2012 survey, taking a ‘strategic perspective’ is seen as the key attribute of an intelligent client, perhaps recognising the push to professionalize the image of FM from within the industry.
3. Both clients and suppliers believe the FM profession still has some way to go before it achieves the recognition given to other professions. There is a need for an industry-wide ‘campaign’ to demonstrate the great work done by FMs and the value delivered to companies and the wider economy.
4. Finding and keeping good people is still the key to success in FM and the biggest challenge client organisations face today. Clients in particular need support in finding and keeping talented FM people, since FM is not their core business.
5. Senior management has a vital role to play in creating a learning culture. Among high-performing clients, having a development plan which identifies and manages talent is evident. But the same appears to be a challenge for smaller organizations.
6. When senior management does not clearly demonstrate leadership towards environmental and sustainability issues, a lack of engagement by staff follows. Both factors are preventing the implementation of better environmental management today. While cost and time also act as barriers, in many organisations, training programmes focus only at an operational level or manager level.
7. The benefits of Environmental Management Systems are not well understood. Only one-third of clients use such a system to monitor their performance. Where companies are using them, they felt it had improved their reputation and helped to create more awareness and commitment to environmental performance among employees.
8. Four in five client organisations do not currently assess the attitude of their staff towards sustainability issues. When organisations do take the time to measure this, they gain a good understanding of the motivations of employees and are better able to focus their efforts behind environmental programmes aligned to these, which are ultimately more successful as they have an engaged workforce.
9. Creating the right culture is a key to ensuring effective health and safety. A fifth of client respondents do not feel that health and safety leadership is clearly demonstrated in their organisation. This is a huge barrier to fully implementing health and safety processes.
10. Good FM plays a key role in helping to maintain a healthy and safe workplace. Given the importance of attitudes to risk in building a culture of health and safety, and the different attitudes likely to be held by different types of people, it is surprising that more than two-thirds of clients do not measure employee attitude to risk.
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