dan hounsell

How to Take the Long View on Training and Education

Career development training on new and evolving technologies can actually help managers stretch budgets and do more with less staff.

By Dan Hounsell, senior editor  

Bottom lines have been battered and brutalized. No matter the organization type, location or size, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on its revenues and budgets. 

One result is that maintenance and engineering departments, many already forced to operate with a “do more with less” strategy for decades, saw tight budgets tightened further. Managers have had to make hard decisions on where and how to cut spending.  

While revenues might have slowed in many organizations, two things did not: the expansion of facility technology and the impact of facilities on human health. Given these growing challenges, managers looking to cut costs might want to think twice before cutting the most important tools they need to keep pace: training and education. 

The most obvious training need for front-line technicians involves the vast array of facility technologies — from building automation systems that monitor and regulate ventilation systems to visitor management applications that control access — that have been upgraded or installed in facilities over the last two-plus years to create healthier, safer workplaces. The pandemic also has provided a grim reminder that technicians in many facilities, most critically healthcare facilities, need access to and training in using personal protective equipment.  

Managers also need to make their continuing education a budget priority. As I witnessed firsthand in March during the return of our NFMT Conference & Expo, managers are looking for the networking, guidance and knowledge that will help them successfully plot the future of their facilities, which are having an ever-expanding impact on the lives and health of the people who work in, visit and maintain them. 

Cutting spending for training and education right now seems like the ultimate “penny wise, pound foolish” tactic. Managers might find greater success by taking the long view in protecting these investments. The safety, health, efficiency and even viability of their facilities might depend on it. 

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  posted on 6/2/2022   Article Use Policy

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