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Workplace matters

IWFM CEO Linda Hausmanis explains the Institute’s new suite of workplace management courses

World FM Day took place on the 15th of May. The idea behind it is to encourage discussion, argument, debate and hopefully motivate people into exchanging a weight of witty tweets about the issues facing the sector. There are so many areas of interest to FM including, how to harness innovation and technological advancement, the roles of leadership, workplace and facilities management as a career of choice, all a range of well-rehearsed narratives that are familiar to us all.

These matters are important, of that there is no doubt, nor can it be doubted that hearing the same people, debate the same thing, at so many different times, without anything seemingly being done can lead to a kind of resignation or fatalism. An important element to the success of any management role is in training up future leaders.

This is why since 2017, working with workplace consultants 3edges, we have been working on our Workplace Leadership solution. This is a new, higher level, learning and development platform. We like to think of it as the part of the IWFM Academy dedicated to producing the leaders who will help develop the workplaces of the future.

Spanning three days, the interactive Workplace Leadership programme takes learners on a varied exploration of the opportunities and challenges that workplace presents. It is designed to offer varying perspectives on the workplace concept and equip learners with a tangible, actionable plan for change.

The first courses in the programme came to an end at the tail end of last year, and since then we have developed new options, available to everyone in our industry, embracing those who are members of the Institute and those who aren’t.

When putting together the Workplace Leadership solution, IWFM and 3edges were aiming to support the development of a new generation of workplace-minded and enlightened professionals, whilst upskilling and guiding the current facilities workforce through the theory and practice of this emerging area, all directed toward positive, workplace change.

A similar mindset was integral to the development of the new courses. Each of them takes place over the course of a single day, and focuses on one specific area of workplace management, design or leadership. They can be taken as part of IWFM’s professional development pathway or as standalone courses. Each has been designed to cover something that will be integral to the leaders of the future:

Making better workplace decisions using data
Is about providing you with the skills and confidence to have a positive influence on decisions about workplace. You will learn to: ask the right questions; see problems in different ways; think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of data; and make more informed, evidence-based workplace decisions.

Creating better workspaces
Is about equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to have more informed conversations about workspace design. You will learn about: how workspace design can have a positive or negative impact on individuals and organisations; the sometimes hidden and often over-looked aspects of workspace design; and the positive role that non-designers can play in decisions about organisational workspace.

Selling your workplace vision
Is about how you get senior managers and other stakeholders to buy-into your ideas around workplace. You will learn how to: create a compelling workplace vision and value proposition; make a robust case for change; and convey your ideas persuasively and authoritatively, using practical communication tools like storytelling.

Leading successful workplace change
Is about developing the skills and confidence to guide people through workplace change. You will learn about: understanding the individual and organisational impact of workplace change; the role that leadership plays in bringing about effective workplace change; and practical techniques for designing and implementing workplace change.

You don’t need to have taken the Workplace Leadership programme to get the full benefit of any of these new courses. If only one of them appeals to you at the moment, then that’s fine, take that one.

All four tie into IWFM’s aims and ambitions and are part of the Institute’s drive toward chartered body status. They are open access and offer the chance for you to join others from diverse backgrounds, as well as offering organisations the chance to tailor them to their own needs. Those same organisations can use the courses to benefit the people responsible for their workplaces, as well as to foster and provoke inter-organisational development.

This is our contribution to the ongoing workplace debates. We want to change our profession by upskilling its educational level and, long term, we see no reason why workplace qualifications shouldn’t become commonplace across society. Hundreds of column inches are written about the workplace every week, it affects all of us who work, but rarely does workplace and facilities management feature. We want to change that. The Workplace Leadership solution was the first step on this journey to making this a reality and the four one day courses were the second.

About Sarah OBeirne


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