The Next Generation of Facility Management: Nurturing Millennial Leadership
Keywords:Education, Facility management, test results, performance
Workforce demographics are changing as baby-boomers approach retirement. By 2020, nearly half of the workforce will be younger than 35. This poses a challenge in industries that are dominated by older employees. This paper examines how changing workforce demographics will affect one of these at-risk industries, facility management. The authors propose that to mitigate the negative effects of an employee exodus, the FM industry (and other similar industries), will have to embrace the next generation of leadership. The authors suggest that young employees may not have the same technical training as older employees, but they can still effectively assume leadership roles if they are taught to properly integrate new technology and utilize the expertise of others. This teaching methodology is the “FM of the Future” approach. This research shows the results of implementing the “FM of the Future” approach in an International Facility Management Associate student chapter to create a pipeline of high-performing students to assume FM roles. The results of the effort reveal two key findings: college students can implement this model to effectively manage industry projects which result in significant cost avoidance ($4 million), and second, high school students can use this training to develop leadership skills to help them become less stressed, more stable, and better students. The authors recommend additional case studies with both college students and high school students.