How could the hospitality industry play a role in the development of FM
So where will this new talent come from?
We argue that the hospitality sector – and schools like Ecole hôteliere de Lausanne – can play a major role here.
We believe there are many parallels between the FM profession and hospitality sector which would allow talent to cross-over from one to the other and for each sector to learn from the other.
For decades, hoteliers have sought to provide the best possible services to guests to ensure they become repeat customers. EHL and other hospitality schools are supplying the industry with tens of thousands of fresh graduates each year, who have the necessary business and hospitality skills.
Hotel general managers are trained to interact with a wide range of employees from housekeeping to the guest relations. They represent their hotels within a locality to a range of stakeholders, whether they be staff, suppliers, local authorities, investors, or customers. They are also trained to understand the different needs of the various segments of the population, from the more mature through to young digital natives.
If we then make the comparison with facilities management, FM handles different types of work environments ranging from start-ups to more established public service offices or private businesses. The workforce in these office spaces too will have their specific needs.
Hoteliers can anticipate the needs of individual guests from the client history information they have on file, as well as through data analysis. Similarly, facilities managers can also anticipate the needs of office workers. Imagine, for example, an employee coming from New York to work on an assignment in Paris and finding his preferred seat is available to help alleviate his back problems.
Hoteliers are trained to manage the staff and environment to optimize guest satisfaction. The new facilities manager is also required nowadays to manage not just the office building but also the other FM staff who will be aiming to keep the firm’s employees happy.
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