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What Do FM's Want in 2021? We Have the Answers!


(0:42) Intro

(3:01) Guest introductions: Randy Olson and Eileen McMorrow

(3:40) What are you reading?

(7:22) Background on guests

(9:48) Explaining 2021 Outlook Training Survey

(26:39) Leadership, strategic planning, and emergency planning

(34:39) Stats on FM training

(37:27) Why invest in your team

(40:25) Skills gap since remote work

(44:23) Top priorities for employers and staff

(47:25) How to find survey results/ Top takeaways

Quick advice for future leaders


Shawn Black

Randy Olson

Eileen McMorrow


The McMorrow Reports

FM Link


202 Training Outlook Survey

Book Recommendations

The Road Less Stupid

Scaling Up


Row The Boat


“I would encourage people who are listening to this. Answer surveys in your industry is so critically important “(10:46) - Eileen McMorrow

“It’s important that we expose, um, folks that are younger in their career to the things they need to accomplish. (15:28) Randy Olson

“I can’t think of anything more timely than understanding capital planning needs.” (21:15) Eileen McMorrow

“And the pandemic was a perfect example of how facility managers were globally called to keep organizations running, but their training is keeping them running in the middle and suddenly everyone’s off premises.” (29:07) Eileen McMorrow

Knowing your team’s needs is the best way to grow your organization! But how do you actually know what these needs are?

This week’s episode of the FM Evolution podcast is the most recent within our ProFM series. Randy Olson, of ProFM, joins host Shawn Black to dive into the 2021 outlook survey results with Eileen with Randy Olson of ProFM and Eileen McMorrow of The McMorrow Reports.

With the drastic changes in the world from 2019 to 2021, the types of questions and feedback from this year’s training outlook survey will significantly impact the future of FM. Those on the journalism or conference side would have to guess what is essential to the FM members if not for this survey.

What’s in the data?

The responders ranged from 80% managing staff across 23 countries. Buildings represented included: commercial, government, healthcare, schools, hospitality, retail, and industrial manufacturing.

Generationally, the older FM members work hard to mentor and bring the younger generation under their wing. With the desire to leave their profession with a good team and still retire before 75, the older generation sees the demand for FM employees and are taking responsibility.

Skills desired by FM members in 2021

Clear communication is key for the FM world adjustment in the past year. Whether it be on the topic of an in-person work environment, to remote, to hybrid, or addressing expectations of behavior and goal engagement, clear communication is the only way to move your business forward successfully.

The survey revealed that FM managers found capital planning and compliance standards as their top priority for training themselves. With work-space standards changing every day, they have to know what is most cost-effective, the best organizational strategy, or even how to get their team to bond.

Despite the pandemic, leadership, strategic planning, and emergency management all scored high as skills FM managers wanted to grow in. For example, learning how to speak FM language that translates to both the business, real estate, and financial managers.

Stats on FM training

With 91% of FM staff wanting more training, it raises 12% from the 2019 survey. That same percentage showed up as facility managers agree there is a gap between them and their staff in skills needed to provide excellent service to their constituencies. Training should close the gap that keeps companies from hiring effective and efficient facility managers.

“For every dollar invested [in training], the return is anywhere from $5 to $15.” (35:41) Randy Olso

Why invest in your team?

The fear of investing in someone who may leave is real, but that is the risk some of the best companies take. Along with that, the accessibility to online training takes out many of the usual barriers of time and money. Besides gaining skills, encouraging good training communicates that the staff is valued and vital to the company.

The pandemic sent the workplace evolution into hyper-drive, highlighting skill gaps that were not relevant 15 months ago. Everyone is playing catch up, and training your team in the new normal for things such as cyber-security, compliance regulations, and emergency preparedness is the only way forward.

“Don’t be passive. There’s always more to do in FM… The survey shows that not everybody can know everything. You can pick an area every couple of months and say, I’m going to get better at this part of FM.” (48:53) Eileen McMorrow

This episode of FM evolution is brought to you by pro FM. How do your FM skills measure up to the global standard? Try our free map your gap self-assessment at and check out ProFM’s credential course!

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