FM Growth
  • 04 May.2021
  • 4 min read
  • 452 views

How to upskill O&M Teams in Facility Management and help them explore new learning opportunities/resources

by Sumit Nawathe

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There is a famous Chinese proverb that goesGive a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” 

I am sure you must have come across this quote before and there are many versions of It. Some of them are quite bold and sarcastic in nature, depicting the changing definition of an independent human being. Anyway, In today’s work environment, the thought process behind the original proverb still stands true, particularly for the blue-collar workforce. 

In a facility management fraternity, these people become the frontliners to fight against the virus and to ensure continuous operations even amidst this crisis and tough working conditions. From O&M technicians to cleaners, asset operators to security teams everyone has played their crucial roles when the whole world was under life-threatening conditions.    

This international labor day (1 May) we wanted to appreciate the efforts and risks these warriors have taken to achieve new heights of hygiene and operational standards. Hence we wanted to give back something that can practically help them evolve with the changing work environment or leverage the digital transformation and keep them on the edge all the time. And we thought, What could be better than a gift of learning? 

According to PwC, Upskilling or capability building has become one of the most important pillars of success for operation-intensive industries. Facility management, being the labor-centric industry, needs to focus on empowering its employees. Continuous learning and honing their digital and technical skills will be crucial to narrate through the changing environment. 

In this article, we are going to compile all the best resources available for facility management professionals, (specifically in the O&M dept) to improve their skills and learning.  

Online Courses & programs

Signing up for self-paced online courses or degree programs has seen massive growth in recent months. If you are looking for advancing your career option or wants to refresh your theoretical knowledge then this could be an ideal time for you to start. Here, we’ve listed a couple of online programs for early-stage facility management professionals.  

Perhaps one of the highly recommended and popular choices of online learning for FM freshers. IFMA provides an exhaustive list of courses from sustainability & operations to FM budgeting, covering 11 FM core competencies.  

Red vector provides practical and engaging online courses that cover all aspects of facilities management. Courses that are focused on improving safety and compliance, boosting productivity, and maintenance practices. Most importantly these courses come SaaS-based online training platform to track your learning progress.  

Linda.com now a part of the LinkedIn learning program covers extensive designing courses on Auto CAD for space and occupancy management. Course topics include managing spaces with AutoCAD, setting up a facilities drawing, defining space areas, and annotating spaces. 

360training.com provides online licensing and certification for a variety of technical industries and professions. They have more than 28 courses for building maintenance and management professionals, which deliver best-in-class training content for the entire operations and maintenance workforce. Courses cover a variety of topics including basic preventive maintenance, basic HVAC maintenance, facility management, and more.

Now, most of the courses and programs provided by industry associations come at free of cost while programs from private universities or training agencies can charge you on a course/ package basis. Interestingly many facility management firms allow their employees to take such courses and cover their expenses.  

Podcast for FM professionals 

When it comes to utilizing free time during the daily community to office, or lazy weekends, millions of people are switching to podcasts to get the most of their time. This medium is becoming the center stone for learning and updating with the industry happenings.

The good news is that there are various podcasts available on Operations and maintenance of facility coving insightful interviews, updates on current changes and case studies from the veterans.  

One of the most comprehensive and longest-running podcast series for everything about asset performance and reliable maintenance discussions. This series has touched upon topics like inventory management, developing a culture to embrace mobile CMMS tools, Change saturation among others.  

A podcast hosted by Jim Huntsman, for facility managers to share tips, strategies, and leadership advice to enhance their facilities management career. Discussion covers a wide variety of facilities management topics for commercial and industrial facilities.

A maintenance and reliability podcast covering industry challenges and learnings. Every episode dives deeper into critical issues and explains how you can begin correcting these maintenance flaws. Defining RCM analyses and PdM strategy were some of our favorites episodes.  

The Buildings Podcast presents the latest developments and practices in facility management from energy management, lowering operating costs, care and maintenance of commercial buildings, life and safety, sustainability, green issues, project management, security, building performance, and much more.

If you are interested in learning how the commercial real estate industry has been revolving around technology and people then you should listen to this podcast series from The fifth wall, one of the largest VC firms for real estate industries.

Besides courses and podcasts, there are news portals and blogs that are available to cover every aspect of operations and maintenance and commercial real estate technologies. These resouThese will not only help learn new applications and tools but also keep you updated with the changing trends.     

If you are already listening to one of these podcasts or want us to recommend new ones then please feel free to comment below. If you want us to come up with a similar list of blogs and video portals then let us know. We’ll be happy to cover that in upcoming articles.  

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