9 February 2012
With the UK’s economy still fragile and ongoing financial disruption in Europe, 2012 looks set to be another challenging year. Public sector cuts continue to bite and, with intense price pressure across all sectors, business growth will be hard won. So how can organisations keep ahead of the game in this difficult environment?
Having invested in the recruitment and retention of people with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes, motivating them to develop their full potential is a must. In a climate where ‘more for less’ is the norm, with client expectations continuing to rise, it makes good business sense to show commitment to learning and development of individuals and teams. This year, the BIFM Awards has a new category (Learning and Career Development) to recognise organisations which, despite tough economic conditions, are doing just that. The award is
open to organisations that can demonstrate strategic leadership and excellence in developing their FM people, alongside proven measures of success in terms of the organisation’s overall goals and objectives.
Excellence can be shown in a variety of ways, for example:
- Commitment to FM qualifications (including apprenticeships)
- Development and implementation of FM-related training programmes
- Mentoring programmes
- Engagement of people into the profession and CPD support.
The award should tap into a rich seam of development activities already underway and also encourage new programmes. Some organisations use competence frameworks and appraisals to identify gaps and development areas for individuals and teams. They then address these through peer support, training programmes or coaching and mentoring interventions.
Increasingly, organisations are also putting staff through formal FM qualifications to demonstrate a benchmark of excellence and improve levels of performance and
motivation. In this way, they set standards in their own companies and help raise the
bar for the whole industry.
The BIFM’s own FM qualifications have seen a major uptake in interest over the past year. With different sizes of qualifications (www.bifm.org.uk/qualifications) and a range of mandatory and optional units at each level, organisations can tailor programmes to meet their specific business requirements and objectives. Working with a BIFM recognised centre, employers can choose units to fill gaps in specialist knowledge, or upskill a team
to deliver projects such as relocation
or refurbishment. With practical work-based assessments in place, staff can use the documents they generate as evidence towards meeting the learning outcomes of each unit.
Learning and achieving with this model becomes an integrated activity, a real
win-win for the individual, the team and the organisation. Staff feel valued and recognised when they achieve a qualification and businesses reap the benefits of a highly
skilled and motivated workforce.
For more information on the new Learning and Career Development Award, visit