Happy New Year! Let’s review the past year with 5 Facility Management Takeaways.

FM Takeaway 1: Do more.  

Facilities in 2022 are about doing more, doing it with less, and doing it in shorter periods. Almost everything requested is now a priority, whether it is one or not. The constant feeling of things being due is ever-present, whether at work or sleeping at home. 

Many professionals spoke of waking up at night thinking of what they have to do. And then waking up in the morning knowing there is too much to do. 

“We start the day already behind,” said a facilities professional. Facility workers and managers have been working beyond their limits and are increasingly burnt out.

FM Takeaway 2: Deferred maintenance is a loser. 

Dollars for deferred are challenging to attain. Aging infrastructures plague many hospitals, and often, there are insufficient financial resources to maintain and keep systems at optimum performance. 

It is not just lack of money that is impacting deferred maintenance; short staffs are, too.

Looking to continue now and into the future, overall reimbursement changes within healthcare will continue to lead to decreasing operating margins, tightening capital budgets, and challenges attaining dollars for deferred.

FM Takeaway 3: Cascading employee shortage problems.

We could, and often do at Gosselin/Martin Associates, speak to the shortage of qualified and experienced professionals to fill available trades roles. Staff shortages are acute. Some facility managers say they have been forced to perform trades work due to a lack of tradespeople on staff.  

Facility leaders lament that staff maintaining complicated hospital systems are less experienced than previous staff. In addition, they speak to the difficulty of hiring staff that can make critical equipment decisions in a facility emergency. 

“The quality of available staff has declined over my years of involvement. Losing experienced staff leaves knowledge voids, and my health system has no plan on how to replace retiring techs.”

We could go on. We won’t.

FM Takeaway 4: It’s all about the salary. 

You can’t escape it. Salaries are not competitive with the market, and they continue to be on the mind of current professionals. Things we heard include:

  • Retention salary increases should outpace new hire offers; 
  • Skilled labor in the healthcare field is a dying breed due to non-competitive compensation;
  • Pay is often lower than in union positions;
  • Staff shortages among the trades are abundant, with no suitable applicants. Salaries play a part as the job market is hot, and organizations can’t, or won’t, compete financially.  

The final word on salary may resonate, or it may cause a shake of the head:

“The typical hospital maintenance technician is paid much less than a nurse, and their performance is critical to every patient in the hospital, not just a few on a single unit,” said a survey respondent.

We recorded a recent podcast titled Healthcare FM pay lags behind its competitors. Listen here.

FM Takeaway 5: Is there a generational divide?

With multiple generations in the workplace, a generational divide was an interesting but not surprising revelation. Although, as a Generation X’er, I enjoy watching the two generations on either side of me, Boomers and Millenials, volley back and forth like McEnroe and Borg at Wimbledon. Some interesting comments include the following:

  • Younger people coming through the ranks are less inclined to want to work hard for a living. This is because they feel they have the upper hand and believe they are worth more money than they are.  
  • The younger generation is moving to get into the trades or coming out of college, and they want to sit in an office at the computer. The increased level of selfishness in today’s employees is added to the management challenge.  
  • As time goes by and the older staff start to retire, no one is coming up to replace them. Younger people do not want to work for or are not interested in, healthcare.  

Whatever generation you hail from, Silent Generation, Boomer, X’er, Millennial, or Generation Z, dedicated and committed people from all ages are best suited for healthcare FM roles.  

Five quick-hitting FM final thoughts

1. The employee market has changed. As a result, organizations can’t approach today’s problems with yesterday’s process.

2. Employee mobility is real, and the length of employee stays is shortening.

3. A resume is a piece of paper, nothing more. Speak to people. Learn who they are.

4. If hiring a person from outside of healthcare with no healthcare experience, ensure an effective support system is in place to support them. 

5. For many, the facilities management role is not as enjoyable as it once was. 

G/MA Nuggets

1) Check out the Gosselin/Martin Associates Career Hub!

2) See the roles we are recruiting for here.

3) Follow us on YouTube.

4) Read our recent Facilities Management Survey