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

author by Sumit Nawathedate 28 Nov, 2023read time 5 mins readviews 2876 Views
How to upskill O&M Teams in Facility Management and help them explore new learning opportunities

In this Digital Age, it has become absolutely necessary to upskill your Operations and maintenance (O&M) teams. The famous Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime," resonates profoundly in today's work environment. Particularly for the blue-collar workforce, this saying underscores the importance of skill development and continuous learning.

Recognizing the Frontline Workers

In today's facility management landscape, 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.  These people become the frontliners to fight against the virus and to ensure continuous operations even amidst this crisis and tough working conditions.

Acknowledging the pivotal role that frontline workers play in our daily life is crucial. It is important to appreciate the efforts and risks these warriors have taken to achieve new heights of hygiene and operational standards. Hence, to give back something that can 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? 

Upskilling is the way forward

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 navigate 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 Learning Opportunities

Signing up for self-paced online courses or degree programs has seen massive growth in recent years. 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 is a list of online programs for early-stage facility management professionals.  

1. IFMA professional courses 

IFMA offers a range of online courses, making it an ideal choice for freshers in facility 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. 

2. Red Vector

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.  

3. Auto CAD and designing 

Formerly known as, now part of LinkedIn Learning, offers extensive designing courses on AutoCAD for space and occupancy management. Course topics include managing spaces with AutoCAD, setting up a facilities drawing, defining space areas, and annotating spaces. 

4. Building Maintenance and Management Courses

360 training 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. The 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 commute to office, or lazy weekends, millions of people are switching to podcasts to get the most out 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 covering insightful interviews, updates on current changes and case studies from the veterans.  

1. Forever Forward Podcast

The Forever Forward podcast hosted by Umesh Bhutoria, discusses the most current and pressing themes in operations and maintenance, facilities management, and digital transformation. The podcast adopts a unique approach by breaking down work experiences with customers, engaging in conversations with industry experts, and facilitating discussions that resonate with everyone from executives to on-site maintenance technicians. The goal is to level the playing field so that professionals at all levels in the facilities management industry have equal access to expert insights and knowledge.

2. Asset reliability at work

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 and dealing with change saturation among others.  

3. The Toolkit of facility management 

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.

4. Rooted in Reliability

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 are some of the most interesting episodes.  

5. Buildings Podcast

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 & maintenance and commercial real estate technologies. These resources will not only help you 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 and we'll be delighted to cover that in upcoming articles. Continuous learning is the key to staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of facility management.  

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