FM World reports on what the IWFM name change means to the wider industry.
4 December 2018 | Martin Read
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management formally introduced itself last month at an event in London. it followed just eight months after the former BIFM first proposed to embrace workplace as a 'key differentiator' for its members, and to establish facilities management as a chartered profession.
Held as part of the annual Workplace Week, the event began with a wide-ranging panel discussion on the workplace opportunity chaired by Ian Ellison, researcher and co-author of a new knowledge report aimed at the examining the culture of the profession, entitled 'Managing Facilities or Enabling Communities?' (See p.10.)
Introducing the IWFM, chairman Stephen Roots reminded the audience of the reasons for the change and how far the Institute had come in the last year.
"We are entering an exciting new era as a modern professional body that is fit for the twenty first century," said Roots.
"Our purpose in creating IWFM has been to reframe the rationale for FM to generate a better understanding of the value that facilities and workplace professionals can contribute to the success of organisations.
"Our mission as IWFM is to empower and enable them to reach their full potential and have rewarding, impactful careers.
Establishing a clear voice
IWFM chief executive Linda Hausmanis said that it had been "one of the most challenging months of my time at this Institute" but one that was "also, ultimately, one of the most rewarding".
Beyond the name change, Hausmanis assured attendees that, behind the scenes "we've been building a new organisation and a modern professional body."
"We want a future where we, along with the community, can have a clear voice which articulates the value our profession contributes to business, society and the economy," said Hausmanis, who went on to set out the new Institute's aims in its first year, including working towards its goal of realising members' desire for the profession to achieve chartered status.
"We want a future where we, along with the community, can have a clear and distinct voice which articulates the value our profession contributes to business, society and the economy."
IWFM's ten-point plan for a modern professional body
"Developing a cleaner format, we've worked hard to create better customer journeys, ensuring users can find the information, guidance and support they need as easily, as friction-free as possible. To March 2019, incremental functionality will allow professionals to personalise their experience, plan and record their development and have complete control over their membership with IWFM."
2. Professional Standards Handbook
"We have revised core elements of our proposition with the IWFM Professional Standards taking centre stage. We've redesigned the Standards Handbook to be more accessible and included new components such as organisational behaviour and performance as well as culture and values, reflecting the essential people oriented "softer" skills we need to add to our technical ones."
3. Standards Review
"In 2019 we will conduct a root and branch review of our entire standards, working with practitioners as well as the organisations they support to map out the requirements for workplace and facilities management. This will then trigger a revision of our qualifications and training offering."
4. Development Pathway
"We have worked to align our entire proposition to the IWFM development pathway which will form the cornerstone of all IWFM products and services, ensuring that your plan for development can be supported by the right tools and that our entire range is easily navigated.
5. Career of Choice
"In 2019 we will kick start a Career of Choice campaign, building on our existing partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions. We will generate, with the workplace and facilities industry, a series of support initiatives and materials to engage and inform those who might join the profession and those looking to progress within it."
6. Market Index
"In late 2019 we will launch a free to access market information index. This will include latest employment figures in the sector, market performance, trends and support material as well as news on the latest contract wins. Whether you are part of the vast supply chain, a major player in the support services arena or someone looking to procure services you will have access to a wealth of data to help you make informed choices about the market."
7. Research and Insight
"We will be launching our most ambitious research and insight programme to-date. We are also working with leaders in the sustainability space to re-launch our long running sustainability survey. We've been tracking progress in this area for more than 13 years, but the nature of this space is constantly evolving, and we must too."
8. Workplace and Technology
"We'll be launching a deep dive into the subject, investigating the opportunities and challenges that technology presents in tomorrow's workplaces. It will include investigative case studies, interviews with thought leaders and assessments on the trends, gaps and requirements from the profession to survive the fourth industrial revolution."
9. Good Practice
"We will continue to work with our community programme to deliver more practical guidance in the form of our well-loved Good Practice Guides, which will be boosted to thrice their number; as well as the guidance notes and local events that support them. Through richer web content and webinars we will enable members all over the world to access this content."
10. "Permanent Beta"
"We like to think of our membership proposition as always in beta. We will continue to develop that proposition as we look to improve the total member experience and put plans in place for a fully in-depth CPD programme and a new mentoring scheme."
"Workplace performance is set to remain a critical area of focus and will shape wide ranging discussions from technology and AI to attracting and shaping talent. My objective is to make IWFM more valuable to the workplace and facilities management profession, the industry and the wider economic community; and to support the professional development of its people through leading-edge thinking, sharing best practice and up-skilling opportunities. IWFM is about creating the conditions for our profession to thrive and grow".
Hausmanis also spoke of the imminent announcement of the line-up for IWFM's 2019 national conference. Speakers from diverse backgrounds are promised, including names from HR, marketing - and even a hostage negotiator. These will "provide us with fully relatable, external perspectives that we can be take into the workplace". The conference will take place in April of 2019.
Hausmanis concluded by conceding that the institute now has plenty to do.
"This name change was never about BIFM with a different livery; this is a new era and you can expect in the future a change of pace, a change of deliverables, and a change of culture. We look forward to you joining us on that journey."
Ireland awards become BIFMs last event
The final event under the British Institute of Facilities Management banner, the BIFM Ireland Awards, took place in Dublin on the Friday after the IWFM's launch event - and just a day before the official launch on Monday 19th November. Here are the winning people and organisations:
Impact on Customer Experience
CBRE at Holyhill, Cork
CBRE's winning entry into the Customer Experience category demonstrated success in enhancing customer experience by creating an environment that fosters innovation through the encouragement and rewarding of employee ideas and technological software and equipment.
Innovation in Products & Services
Robotics in Facilities
Management, BAM FM
The BAMFM team offered an ingenious display of how technology and robotics can be used to enhance the delivery of FM products and services, and both heighten and simplify user experience.
Newcomer of the Year
Pierce McAllorum, JLL
Pierce was crowned as this year's Newcomer of the Year for his exemplary career path at JLL, quickly cementing outstanding foundations as an EMEA Engineering and Sustainability Manager and overseeing the establishment of the new LinkedIn premises in Dublin.
Team of the Year
Ervia FM Team, Ervia
The Ervia Facilities Management Team were bestowed with the Team of the Year trophy for their demonstration of strong leadership and achievement of outstanding results for their customers across Ireland through their innovative use of technology and systems.