Mind The Workforce Gap

After winding down the stairs and weaving through the corridors of a train station in a bustling metropolitan area, one can witness the inner workings of the London Tube. A system of intricate tunnels, operators, maintenance workers, ticketing clerks, and machinery transports thousands of people daily throughout the city and its surrounding areas. Everywhere in the stations exist reminders and signposts to help individuals safely and efficiently travel. The most reverberating reminder, however, is repeated frequently and steadily over the loudspeakers upon entering or exiting the train.“Mind the Gap,” the recording politely and matter-of-fact chides the transient passengers as they step over the crack between the train and station platform. These notorious gaps are often the sights where small, yet vital belongings are lost or missteps are taken. 

In the midst of a pandemic that has turned the workforce and brick-in-mortar businesses upside down as well as a period of many retirement transitions in the United States, business and organization leaders face many perplexing “Gaps” to mind. Similar to the train platform, when contractors are forced to pause projects and large numbers of experienced trade workers leave a field, valuable information, crucial details, and important deadlines can slip through the cracks or “gaps.”

Key Concerns For Facility Leaders

A recent eFacility survey inquired about the challenges for managers regarding facility maintenance and yielded results that pointed to a number of key concerns for business and organization leaders. Some of the most resounding responses talked about the difficulty of managing workload as some employees are unavailable to work and contracts are shut down. The seemingly rush-to-wait nature of construction projects that are forced to stop and go dependent upon the completion of a specific succession of steps combined with a transient workforce and slowed timelines can create room for confusion, frustration, and increased costs. 

For example, one business owner is facing this challenge as he renovates a commercial building. Even before pandemics, remodeling any facility while also working to alter its function is a complex process with many interdependencies. Some steps depend on contractors finishing projects and in this case, many of them are shut down (either by the government or personal decisions), so the whole project is significantly delayed. 

The Knowledge That Workers Take Them As They’re Laid Off Or Retire

The new challenge of inconsistency has emerged during this period to the lack of availability of experienced workers or the entrance of newer, less experienced individuals replacing those who have retired. Though it has been exacerbated by COVID-19, this is a hurdle that many businesses and organizations were already beginning to experience before the pandemic and that will continue as a large number of workers leave and with them, take the knowledge gained through years of working in their fields. This barrier will have a large impact on workload and budgeting because it is harder to adhere to a schedule and plan days ahead, let alone weeks ahead.  With businesses being forced to make hard decisions and cut back on the number of workers employed to do the same tasks, technicians run the risk of becoming overloaded and sometimes are forced to take on responsibilities in less familiar areas. 

Preserve Institutional Knowledge with Technology

Ultimately, one way to ease the stress of so much uncertainty is to find ways to be mindful of the workforce gap that can be created during this difficult and demanding time. Managers can begin to create some level of certainty through preventative measures that reinforce and clarify communication. They can also look after the workforce gap created when individuals leave a position or a contract is canceled by finding easy-to-manage ways to preserve institutional knowledge

Using digital tools such as eFacility to capture these details makes it easier for a facility team to use a variety of resources (team members, contractors, etc.) to manage workload because they are not as reliant on the experience of a single person or crew.  eFacility allows facility team members to preserve information in a user-friendly way that can be quickly accessed and searched from anywhere. The delay of projects or setbacks is unavoidable; thus, the value of implementing digital resources to ease some project oversight concerns particularly during uncertain times is clear.

About Us

eFacility provides software for facility managers that need to capture and share institutional knowledge.

eFacility’s patented technology allows technicians to access the documentation necessary to complete a work order from a mobile device.

Geo-based documentation delivery ensures the technician can quickly access the important documentation for only the area of the facility in which they’re standing.

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