Tips for Capturing FM Knowledge Before It Walks Out the Door

Published September 18, 2022

Categories: Thought Leadership, Facilities Management, Staffing

Facilities management is a niche industry that requires employees to possess unique interests and specialized skills. Most facilities management roles require a bachelor's degree at minimum, in addition to proven on-the-job experience.

Some facilities management career paths, such as Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) tracks, demand that professionals receive additional training and certifications beyond the traditional Certified Facility Manager (CFM) or Facility Management Professional (FMP) credentials.

Without this expertise, many buildings would quickly fall into disrepair and become unsafe, unsanitary, unpleasant places to be. This underscores just how important it is to retain your facilities managers’ knowledge while you still have the opportunity.

Research shows that employees take about 70% of company knowledge with them when they retire or leave a job, which is alarming enough as it is. Consider the fact that facilities managers leave with an intricate familiarity with the physical workspace developed over years, or even decades, and you have even more reason for concern.

With the job market continuing to tighten and Baby Boomers retiring in droves, it’s become increasingly important for businesses to develop a knowledge retention strategy that targets not just knowledge workers but hands-on professionals including facilities managers.

Here are three tips from Flagship for facilitating knowledge transfer at your organization.

Get Creative

Facilities managers have a significant amount of tacit knowledge – or knowledge acquired through experience that cannot be easily shared. To prevent this type of knowledge from being lost, try capturing it in different forms. Many companies have started video-taping staff as they perform manual tasks so that they have a visual reference to provide future employees. You may also consider recording employee interviews, establishing practice communities, or implementing a knowledge sharing platform.

Establish a Mentorship Program

Mentorship is one of the most effective ways to organize, capture, and distribute institutional knowledge – especially in facilities management environments where tacit knowledge is prevalent. A good mentorship program not only prepares junior employees to take on new challenges in the future, but it can improve productivity and camaraderie in the short term.

Offer Flexible Retirement Plans

These days, a growing number of professionals are opting to ease into retirement instead of diving in headfirst. This is great news for businesses, which can benefit from keeping facilities managers on as consultants or part-time employees. Phased retirement programs can be formal or informal, brief or extended agreements. Establish a system that works for your organization to avoid the knowledge gaps that occur when employees leave abruptly.

It doesn’t matter what methods you choose to employ; the key to retaining facilities management employees and their knowledge is being proactive in your efforts! Email one of our experts today to discuss an FM staffing strategy for your business.