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Workers want their managers to have leadership skills

New research by LMS provider Digits into skills in the workplace has revealed a list of the most important skills that workers expect a manager to possess, with leadership right at the top of what they want.

Around half (51% of men and 45% of women) of the 2,048 working-age adults polled thought leadership skills were the most essential.

Verbal communication and teamwork skills ranked joint second for over a third (35%) of people, closely followed by empathy and problem-solving skills (30% and 29% respectively).

Surprisingly, written communication skills came last on the list (8%) – proving to be less popular than a strong work ethic (21%), good time management (18%), and conflict resolution (15%).

Just one in 10 of those surveyed reported having no specific skill requirements of a manager, suggesting that most people do have pre-existing ideas around what makes a good or competent manager to them. Whether their actual managers meet their expectations, on the other hand, is a matter for another survey.

The most important skills needed by managers, ranked by popularity, are:

  • Leadership skills (48%)
  • Verbal communication skills (35%)
  • Teamwork skills (35%)
  • Empathy (30%)
  • Problem-solving skills (29%)
  • A strong work ethic (21%)
  • Good time management (18%)
  • Conflict resolution (15%)
  • Written communication skills (8%)

Of course, ‘leadership skills’ is an umbrella term that can mean different things to many people. And it can encompass a range of hard skills (job-related knowledge) and soft skills – transferable skills that help individuals work and interact with others – such as adaptability, flexibility, communication, teamwork, time management and problem-solving.

There is no one-size-fits-all, explains Bradley Burgoyne, head of talent at Digits: “We’ve got more generations in the workforce today than we’ve ever had. And, each group of workers prefers slightly different managerial styles and leadership qualities.

“Every individual has their own expectations about how they want their managers to lead them, coach them, support them, relate to them, and empower them. Those skills don’t just happen, even the best managers need to receive regular training and development from their employers.”

He adds: “The challenge for HR and L&D teams is to ensure that their training strategy is broad enough to cater to all levels of employees in the organisation because, I think, everyone benefits from leadership or management development.

“It’s important that employers actively listen to their workforce and find out where the skills gaps are – what training do employees think they need? What training do employees think their managers need and what leadership qualities do they respond best to? They can then utilise the data to create training courses or a series of engaging development activities in their learning management system, that are really relevant to the people within the organisation rather than something that could, potentially, be seen as just a tick-box exercise.”

According to Burgoyne, some of the core leadership skills of a modern manager include:

  • Vision setting – having clear business goals for the team and being able to influence and gain buy-in from team members to work towards that vision. This also includes some change management skills, as setting a vision and taking a team on a journey to reach it, inevitably involves helping people work through change.
  • Empathy and listening – builds trust and connection between individuals and their managers. Managers need to be mindful and show their team that they understand and relate to them as human beings, that they recognise that each person has different needs, different skills, and a different perspective on how they approach different situations at work.
  • Inclusive leadership – managers that want to create a high performing team need to be able to provide high levels of psychological safety within their teams, where feedback is welcome and encouraged. An environment where everyone feels included and safe enough to provide feedback, feels that the feedback that they provide is valid, and that action will happen as a result, helps to build a team with a sense of purpose in what they’re doing and a growth mindset.
  • Coaching skills – rather than always telling people what to do, good managers trust and empower their teams to use their skills and knowledge to find the answers and achieve an outcome. A quality coaching conversation will help someone to realise that they knew the answer all along or feel empowered to go and find the answer. This can support an employee’s sense of purpose and self-validation and create a far more autonomous team.
  • Self-awareness – to lead others successfully requires managers to reflect inwards and understand their management style and learn how to adapt it for different situations. There are multiple challenges facing managers today, many that they may not have experienced before, so it’s important to be really agile, adaptable, and constantly thinking about the wider world and how that might need to change your approach.
  • Collaboration skills – managers don’t need to have the answers to every question. The world of work is too complex and fast-moving for one person to be able to come up with all the solutions all the time. Encouraging collaboration – with other individuals, other teams and other departments – to find answers by working together or reaching a shared goal through a collaborative process, will help improve the performance of the entire organisation.

Generational divides

Further analysis of Digits’ survey results showed clear generational divides between what people at the start of their career considered to be important managerial attributes compared to those who have been in the workforce for a decade (or two). Almost twice as many people over-55 (who’ve probably experienced a few different managers during their working life) than those aged 16-to-24-years-old think leadership skills are a must-have for managers (56% vs 28%).

Although leadership skills are ranked the highest across all age groups, what comes next varies. A strong work ethic is popular with a quarter (25%) of 16 to 24 year-olds, verbal communication skills are preferred by 24 to 34 year-olds and the over-55s (36% and 44% respectively), while teamwork skills are highly rated by over a third (36%) of those aged 35 to 54 years old.

Digits’ soft skills report, including the latest soft skills training statistics for 2022, is available to view at https://www.digits.co.uk/soft-skills-statistics. The results include a survey of 2,048 people in the UK, conducted by Censuswide for Digits, in March 2022.

Inspiring the next generation: How to encourage young people into engineering

The future of engineering has never been more important. According to a report by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the UK science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors are experiencing a shortage of 173,000 workers, and 49% of engineering businesses are struggling to recruit skilled workers. Therefore, as the technological world continues to evolve and advance, the government strives to prioritise STEM education within primary and secondary schools.

Here we explore the ways that the UK is encouraging young people into engineering careers, from stimulating interest at a young age to creating an inclusive space for underrepresented groups in STEM and equipping students with transferable skills they will use for life.

Stimulating an interest in STEM education from a young age

There are many organisations that are encouraging STEM learning within primary education. A continuing professional development (CPD) programme, STEM learning supports primary school teachers in its endeavour to inspire the next generation of engineers. It offers regional and remote courses, bursaries, and other online materials. The Institute of Engineering and Technology also offers free material for children aged between 5 and 11 years of age, such as lesson plans and education videos. This equips teachers with the tools to inspire the next generation.

In addition to this, children can begin their STEM education outside of the classroom. To encourage this, parents can teach their children to question the world around them. Even the toys children play with can be used for this purpose. Educational toys, such as coding robots, enrich children with life skills as well as the tools to excel in STEM subjects.

Encouraging STEM subjects within underrepresented groups in schools

In order to inspire the future generation of engineers, we must continue to offer educational tools to underrepresented groups. In 2021, women accounted for just 14.5% of the engineering sector. The number of girls taking STEM subjects in school is significantly lower than boys. This is apparent in A-Level technology subjects, such as computer science. In 2021, the number of A-Level students taking computer science rose from 12,428 to 13,829 across the UK. Out of these, 11,798 were boys and 2,031 were girls. This gender gap within STEM subjects can be partly explained as a result of harmful stereotypes. According to Women In Tech, early socialisation and classroom culture can deter girls away from STEM subjects, as they are traditionally portrayed as boy-dominated subjects.

Computer science and technology subjects are a great way to inspire the next generation of engineers. The skills that young men and women will learn in these subjects can form a foundational knowledge to succeed as an engineer. This can lead to the cultivation of multiple skills, for example, the development of engineering software such as building design software.

Furthermore, students from low socio-economic backgrounds are less likely to choose STEM subjects in school. Research from In2ScienceUK shows that students from disadvantaged backgrounds can be 2.2 times less likely to take triple science at GCSE when compared to other students. This could be due to a number of factors, from individual student interests to counter-culture within disadvantaged youth.

To tackle this, the UK government is investing money and resources into initiatives. These schemes encourage underrepresented groups to take part in STEM education and inspire the next generation of engineers. It intends to improve the accessibility of computer science with female students at GCSE and A-Level. This corresponds with other incentives, such as the Gender Balance in Computing Programme.

Thankfully, the efforts to make engineering an inclusive space is paying off. The number of people within these underrepresented groups undergoing a degree in a STEM subject has increased. Between 2010–2020, the number of women accepted onto undergraduate courses rose by 49%, and the number of people from disadvantaged backgrounds achieving places on such courses increased by a staggering 79%. This is an encouraging sign for the future minds of engineering!

Highlight the importance of the transferable skills students learn in STEM subjects

STEM education equips children and young adults with transferable skills which will aid them in their future endeavours. These skills transcend the ability to solve an equation or design a building. By highlighting the importance of these transferable skills, students will realise the value of STEM education and how this can help them in multiple careers, from business management to teaching and much more.

STEM education requires students to think for themselves. Tasks often involve problem-solving, and this encourages critical thinking. Not only is this skill highly important in STEM careers, but it is also a well-respected transferable skill. Any career involving research and development would benefit from this.

Another transferable skill students learn from STEM subjects is teamwork. To work in a team, they will develop their communication skills, which is vital for practically any career path. Finally, STEM education requires management skills, from overseeing a project to delegating tasks. This is particularly beneficial for careers in business, as well as any engineering role.

Overall, the UK is taking the necessary steps to encourage the younger generation into STEM careers. This can start as early as childhood, with the toys they play with to the subjects at primary school. Although STEM subjects are predominately made up of boys, more and more girls are choosing to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects, such as computer science. As STEM begins to create an inclusive space for more underrepresented groups, students will gain transferable skills that can be used within engineering and a plethora of other careers.

UK infrastructure plan will need ‘colossal’ skills drive

The government’s announcement of a record £650bn investment in infrastructure projects over the next decade will need to be matched by an unprecedented surge in training and recruitment, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

A mixture of public money, private sector investment and the recruitment of more than 425,000 skilled workers is proposed to deliver the updated Infrastructure Pipeline plan published this week.

Over £30bn worth of social and economic projects are due to be launched this year, according to the Infrastructure and Projects Authority as part of an overall £200bn of work underpinning the government Build Back Better programme.

Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030’ lays out a detailed plan that could lead to a surge in new opportunities for apprentices, graduates, and experienced workers with the right skills, according to the Association.

Transport, energy, and utilities will command the largest share of the work, but there are also big plans for social and digital infrastructure between now and 2025.

BESA welcomed the updated plan as a “vote of confidence” for the sector but pointed out that the programme relies heavily on improving productivity through greater use of digital technology and innovation. Increasing use of Modern Methods of Construction will also be crucial as the projects unfold, but all of that will need to be supported by an upsurge in specific skills many of which are currently in short supply, the Association added.

“The current turmoil in our supply chains is a stark reminder of how failing to invest in training and retaining high quality people can undermine the best laid plans,” said BESA’s director of training and skills Helen Yeulet.

“The government’s infrastructure plans are extremely exciting, but will place even greater strain on the industry’s workforce unless accompanied by a colossal push to bring new blood into the sector and upskill existing workers.”

However, competition for skilled staff is expected to continue heating up over the next two to five years and will require employers in construction and engineering-related fields to look closely at what they have to offer.

“People shortages are likely to continue for an extended period,” said Yeulet. “This is not just about Brexit. We have seen a whole shift in the economy, which was accelerated by the pandemic and has led to record pay packages for people working in transport, logistics and hospitality.

“On the plus side, it has also started to redress the balance for many people in low paid jobs and means employers in our sector need to make sure what they are offering is attractive,” she added. “They need to make sure they are treating existing staff fairly and have clear career progression plans in place to entice new people into our sector with the right skills to take us forward.”

BESA said it was seeing encouraging growth in the numbers of young people interested in workplace-based training where they can work towards high level qualifications including degrees via an employer, who offers a guaranteed job at the end.

The rise of technical training including the introduction of T-levels is also helping to promote careers in building engineering and related disciplines giving further hope for the future.

“The current turmoil in labour markets should be something of a wake-up call for many employers,” said Yeulet. “There are a lot of workers who feel undervalued and treated like commodities. Investing in their professional development and rewarding them properly is the best way to demonstrate that their skills are valued.

“Building engineering will play a crucial role in rebuilding the economy and driving us towards a lower carbon future, so it is very important that we don’t undervalue our own product. Ironically, this difficult period could be a great opportunity to leave our ‘low-cost cut price’ culture behind and show clients why the whole industry deserves to be better funded and rewarded.”

Focus on Skills: Why apprenticeships are the future for business

The need for specific employable skills in the workplace is essential. Attracting and acquiring new talent to all industries is a competitive field, with more students leaving school and attending university than ever before.

However, for growing businesses, the benefits of apprentices are becoming apparent. The ability to train your staff and integrate them into a working culture has its obvious advantages. But the reasons for creating on-the-job training courses for new talent are increasing every day. Here we look at how businesses are benefiting from apprentices, and how they can grow in the future.

Growing skills and businesses

Apprenticeships are one of the best opportunities for young people to learn valuable workplace-related skills. Where once the idea of apprenticeships was saturated by jobs in sectors such as engineering, construction, and care, a growing number of courses now compete with higher-level education and degree level careers.

The Government introduced an apprenticeships levy in 2017, forcing businesses with payrolls of over £3 million to reserve five per cent of wage costs for training in the workplace. The levy was expected to create 3 million more apprenticeships in the UK by 2020. It is essential for large businesses to generate high skilled employees from apprenticeships.

This is demonstrated by the growth of high-level apprenticeships over the past five years. A level seven apprenticeship is considered equivalent to a post-graduate course. A 2019 report found that only 30 people enrolled at this level in 2015, compared to 4,500 people in 2017 when the levy was introduced.

The growing number of high-level apprenticeships is reflected in the variety of roles available to those who want to learn in a workplace. Some examples include apprenticeships in aerospace engineering with the MOD, digital marketing, and as a police constable. UCAS advertises apprenticeships that pay £30,000 a year, over 25 per cent more than the average graduate salary in the UK.

A day in the life

Apprenticeships are not just an alternative to further or even higher education. Courses often contain useful skills that act as introductory workshop into specific sectors.

Grace started an apprenticeship in digital marketing in July 2019 with Mobile Mini, a storage container provider and rental service. She explains why an apprenticeship course appealed to her: “I chose to do this rather than going to university because I wanted to continue in education at the same time as learning on the job.”

For Grace, being able to work while earning had obvious advantages. But most importantly, she believes that it will benefit her career in the long run. She continued: “An apprenticeship really prepares you for the world of work, as you are not only continuing education, you are also gaining so much valuable experience of a real workplace.”

This reflects the growing need for sector-specific skills over generalised, particularly in digital and high skilled roles. For businesses, the prospect of moulding the ideal worker through work and education creates the perfect employee, ingrained within the culture of the company.

Beyond 2020

While apprenticeships are becoming increasingly prevalent in workplaces, the future will depend on them. The World Economic Forum noted that changing technology and business practices will mean that up to 42 per cent of skill requirements will change by 2022. Consequently, reskilling is becoming not only necessary but difficult to do on a large scale as well.

The turnover of essential skills means that they can only be learnt in the workplace, and often, if practical skills are taught in higher education, there is an expectation that they will be redundant by the time a student enters the workplace.

Only through apprenticeships can a business move with the era of accelerated and digital innovation. With young people engrained in a culture of digitisation, they will adapt to changing scenarios and technology. Businesses will compete for talent from a pool of young apprentices. As the number of apprentices increases, opportunities must adapt to meet the needs of an intelligent workforce, where education occurs throughout their working lives.

As apprenticeships become more common and attractive for both students and businesses, are we likely to see a shift in post-school education? With the cost of university becoming an unattractive prospect for young people, will apprenticeship schemes become the best way to prepare people for a working future? Only time will tell, but he benefits are evident.

iHASCO offers free training to all key workers across the UK

Bracknell based eLearning provider, iHASCO, have announced that all key workers across the UK can obtain free access to their Mental Health Awareness and Infection Prevention & Control training programmes.

The announcement was made shortly after they were listed on the Crown Commercial Service’s COVID-19 Catalogue of supplier offers.

Mental health and wellbeing has long been high up on the agenda for employers, but now, it’s more important than ever before. The coronavirus pandemic could have a “profound” effect on people’s mental health – now and in the future, say psychiatrists and psychologists who are calling for urgent research.

It’s the same with Infection Prevention and Control training; incredibly important in day-to-day life but with the recent Coronavirus pandemic affecting tens of thousands in the UK alone, it’s crucial that key workers are given high-quality training to stop the spread of the virus and save lives.

iHASCO’s Mental Health Awareness Course is IOSH approved and recently won the THS Health & Safety Awards. Their Infection Prevention & Control training has been recently updated and is currently in the IOSH approval process.

They also offer 2 variations of the courses listed above that have been specifically designed for the care sector.

“We can’t thank our key workers enough for the sacrifices they are making everyday, but if our training can help those who are struggling with mental ill-health or even contributes to stopping the spread of COVID-19, then we’ve made a genuine difference” says Alex Morris, Director at iHASCO.

If you’re a key worker or you’re an employer of key workers, get in touch with iHASCO today and they can get your account set up, free of charge.

Improve your expertise with our online courses!

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  • Project Management Foundation (Small Projects) Certification
  • Project Preparation Certification
  • Making Meetings Matter Certification
  • Marketing Certification Level 2
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Find out more and purchase your ticket online here.

Additionally, there are a variety of bundles available on all spectrums;

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Book your courses today and come out of this stronger and more skilled!

5 Minutes With… Sophie Sibley, Environment and Energy Data Analyst, SPIE UK

In the latest instalment of our FM industry interview series, we sat down with Sophie Sibley, Environment and Energy Data Analyst at SPIE UK to talk about how the industry can encourage more women to move into STEM-based careers as International Women’s Day (March 8th) approaches…

Tell us about your current role.

Environment and Energy Data Analyst. I help advise businesses on how they need to adapt to adhere to new environmental and energy regulations. By monitoring clientsenergy use and assessing their buildings, I can advise them on how to reduce their energy consumption, specifically when assisting them with the completion of their ESOS reports.

How can we encourage more women into STEM careers?

Accessibility is a huge problem. We need to make it as easy as possible for women to follow a STEM career path and promote the opportunities available to women at a young age. Although engineering is known for being maledominated, an effort should be made to integrate women amongst the male cohort. This helps to stop issues that may arise due to segregation while enabling different ideas to be shared.

What’s your advice to those looking into following a career in engineering?

I suggest joining a professional body and attending relevant events. Not only does this give you the opportunity to learn from others but helps you to start having conversations with the right people in the industry who might end up being a mentor further down the line.  

With the percentage of women in the industry dropping off over time, how can the sector retain more females

Female networks, such as SPIEs SoSPIE Ladies network has inspired me to remain in engineering as you can seek council from others in a similar situation to yourself.  

How we can entice young talent into the FM industry?

By Chris Townsend, HR Director, ABM UK

In the facilities management industry, the UK is suffering from a general skills shortage. Young people are typically not considering this industry as a career path creating a skills gap.

Therefore, it is right that we look to apprenticeships as a possible solution to this problem and highlight the important role they play in bridging this gap.

Open career opportunities that call for individuals with engineering skills far outnumber the supply of applicants. The facilities management industry needs people who are open to related careers, to be aware of all the opportunities that this industry is offering them. 

Whether these people are students coming from college, after university or later on in their lives, apprenticeships provide a secure route to upskilling and career progression.

At ABM UK, there are apprenticeship programmes dedicated to security, plumbing, cleaning, gas and engineering. These apprenticeships enable people to develop new skills as well as giving people a great start to working life. In all, there are 10 different courses and our apprentices not only earn while they learn, but have the option to work in a variety of disciplines within facilities services, management, which goes up to degree level and engineering. 

Education and awareness are the equivalent to condition monitoring and predictive maintenance when looking at diversity and the skills gap. By engaging children that are still early in their education we are introducing them to the possibilities of the facilities management industry, this is filling the pipeline of future apprentices. We are also ensuring there is a diversity of backgrounds in our people that will make our business and profession continue successfully. 

At ABM UK we want a pipeline of talented young people who aspire to have a career in facilities management. The individuals in this pipeline will be excited by its potential and would not accept a role in this industry as a back-up if their other career plans didn’t quite work out. We want to make apprenticeships an active career choice, and not a back-up plan. 

So what are we doing to make this happen? We are showing that the industry is about more than oily rags and blue overalls.

Firstly, we invested heavily in setting up our own training centre to ensure apprenticeships and training are at the heart of our business.

In 2018, ABM UK piloted the first ever Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P) which aims to tackle the perceptions of engineering and facilities management amongst secondary school aged children and their parents. The course of 10 modules, including experiments in conduction, magnets and motors, gives the students an insight into the world of facilities management and apprenticeships. Something they may have never heard of before. When these children leave school, they will be better informed of their choices and may well consider an apprenticeship in this field, and we’re very proud of the extensive range we offer.

And, we’re using our current apprentices as role models and ambassadors. It’s important that young children see people that they can relate to doing really well in these areas, acting as motivation for them to continue to be engaged in the programme.

Take ABM UK former apprentice, Marissa Francis as an example, and an inspiration. She chose the university route, but soon realised it wasn’t for her and chose a different direction – an apprenticeship.

Despite losing her mum and being responsible for bringing up her four-year-old daughter single-handedly, she graduated from ABM UK’s apprenticeship scheme and is now a qualified expert in heating, ventilation and air conditioning. 

We are so proud of everything she has achieved and we’re all delighted that she was named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in 2017 at the industry’s Heating and Ventilation News Awards.

Alongside the J.E.E.P initiative, as part of our grass roots work, we conducted a piece of research[1] which looked at the perceptions of apprenticeships in this industry amongst 2,000 parents and 2,000 young people aged 11 – 15. A lot of what we found illustrated the perception change work that needs to be done – for example, we found that over a third of parents don’t know what an apprenticeship is. Statistics like this need to be changed. The research also found that a third[2] of parents see apprenticeships as a last resort for young people who fail exams.

The research also found the top reasons that parents were not encouraging their child to undertake an apprenticeship. Almost half thought apprenticeships were poorly paid (43%), because they see it as a last resort for those who fail their exams (37%), and a perception that apprenticeships don’t lead to successful careers (17%). Those with experience or working in apprenticeships know that this is not the case. In reality, recruits in this sector are in such high demand that graduate apprentices are earning between £26,000 and £30,000 just a year after qualifying – usually before they’re 20 years old – and they have no debt. 

Initiatives like the J.E.E.P show students at a young age what they are capable of academically. Sometimes we excel at physical tasks rather than sitting in a lecture hall. Showing students the benefits of an apprenticeship could make a massive difference to their life and career path.

Following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, businesses are coming together no matter what industry, towards the same goal which is to educate the youth through apprenticeships. There is no question that this means the future is looking bright for apprenticeships in the UK, however, it is clear from the research ABM UK conducted that the perceptions around apprenticeships still need to change.

[1] Commissioned by ABM UK and conducted by Censuswide the research comprises 2,000 British parents of children aged 11 to 16 and 2,000 children aged 11 to 16 in April 2018. 

[2] 36%

GUEST BLOG: Facilities Management firms need to streamline efficiencies ahead of Brexit

By Drey Francis, Director at Engage Technology Partners

While the Brexit ‘deal’ remains up in the air and the uncertainty continues for UK businesses, employers in the Facilities Management field are understandably nervous.

As an arena that has undoubtedly been heavily reliant on European talent to fill demand in a skills short environment, the potential to have an increasingly limited pool of staff to tap into is certainly a concern.

In fact, our recent pay data revealed that the Brexit vote has had a direct impact on hourly rates as businesses look to retain staff. According to the statistics, since the vote to leave the Bloc in 2016, hourly pay for skills-short roles has increased, with maintenance positions in particular noting an uptick in money. Handymen and mechanical maintenance professionals reported the greatest increase in the three years since the vote at 13% and 10% respectively, while electricians saw a 5% rise in hourly rates.

Given how sparse some of the talent for these roles is in general, it’s perhaps no wonder that employers are turning to financial incentives to attract staff. However, this isn’t a sustainable approach.

Of course, we still need to wait and see what happens in terms of the agreement on the Freedom of Movement for the UK, but action can be taken now to improve staffing efficiencies in order to better cope with the expected upheaval in Spring 2019.

So where can FM businesses streamline activity to better weather the storm that lies ahead?

Identify the right areas to improve

There’s long been a trend across the industry to limit supplier margins in order to reduce expenditure – a tactic that many will likely turn to as times get tough. However, the true results of this approach aren’t as impactful as you might perhaps be led to believe, and I would argue that this isn’t a sustainable strategy in a talent short market.

Margins have long been on a downward trajectory in recruitment, but when you consider that you ‘get what you pay for’, is this really the right tactic? Yes, identifying where there are inconsistencies in mark-ups will be a beneficial cost-cutting exercise, but only if done while also looking at the wider picture.

In my view, the greatest area of improvement across Facilities Management lies in the often lengthy and quite frankly, inefficient, administrative, recording and resourcing processes. Too often there is a lack of automation and data sharing that is causing significant ‘wastage’ in FM operations.

For example, compliance checks can often be duplicated as information is not stored in one centralised location. Resourcing mangers can also face budget overruns due to inefficient record keeping, with off-PSL agencies used to fill last minute demands when in fact the required staff could be found in other areas of the business. And with many recording tools often being used separate to payroll systems, the entire resourcing management process can become overly complex and the chance of errors occurring is increased.

Don’t forget the candidate experience

Perhaps more importantly, without a truly joined up approach, many candidates and employees are facing an experience that perhaps doesn’t resonate well with their expectations. With budgets pushed lower, the risk for people to be treated as commodities rather than the valued individuals that they are is increased.

And, of course, the limitations of some administrative processes can see staff paid late or not enough due to timesheet or filing errors. The result is a disgruntled workforce that is less engaged with your business and subsequently, more likely to steer clear of your business in the future. A less than ideal situation given that automating admin processes can often be relatively simple to implement.

And herein lies the biggest consideration for FM businesses: how much is it costing you to find out how much it costs? With a disjointed administrative process, it is arguably costing decision makers to find out where there are budget overruns and where savings can be made. All in all, money is being spent to look at how money can be saved, before any concrete action is taken.

But that doesn’t have to be the case – often it is the small efficiencies that can have the greatest impact.

For FM businesses, now really is the time to look at developing a joined-up approach to resource management before the chaos of Brexit truly hits home.

FM sector increases hourly pay for skills-short roles as Brexit looms

Facilities management firms are turning to financial incentives to lure top contract talent as the Brexit vote drives EU citizens out of the UK, according to new data.

Engage Technology Partners says its pay data has revealed that since the vote to leave the Bloc in 2016, hourly pay for skills-short roles has increased, with maintenance positions in particular noting an uptick in money.

Handymen and mechanical maintenance professionals reported the greatest increase in the three years since the vote at 13% and 10% respectively, while electricians saw a 5% rise in hourly rates.

This data has been revealed amid news from the CIPD that talent shortages are already being felt ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU next year. According to its latest Labour Market Outlook report, a third of employers of EU citizens have reported that the Brexit decision has led to an exodus of these professionals from their UK base.

Drey Francis, Director at Engage, said: “For Facilities management firms, maintaining reliable access to a team of maintenance professionals was already an issue before the Brexit vote. Since the decision was made to exit the EU, this issue has deteriorated further, with many of the FM firms we have a relationship with reporting that availability of these professionals is one of their biggest concerns going in to 2019.

“Given how sparse some of the talent for these roles is in general, it’s perhaps no wonder that employers are turning to financial incentives to attract staff. However, this isn’t a sustainable approach. Of course, we still need to wait and see what happens in terms of the agreement on the Freedom of Movement for the UK, but action can be taken now to improve staffing efficiencies in order to better cope with the expected upheaval in Spring 2019. For example, where FM businesses have widespread operations, there are often resources that can be utilised in other locations, but a lack of visibility of this information is preventing hiring managers from tapping into these staffing pools.”