Some HR Challenge in the Integrated Facilities Management Industry

By By Ameet Naik, Head - HR at PSIPL

Ameet NaikFacilities Management industry has been operational in India for many decades; however, it started taking shape of an industry two decades ago; prior to that it existed in an unorganised form; even today there is a substantial segment which operates in an unorganised setup. India has been a Human Resource intensive nation; India has been seeing itself as well as the world has been seeing India in that manner; the nomenclature though have been different like; labour, manpower and in some cases talent.

So, how is it going to favour or impact the Facilities Management industry?

CHALLENGE: The Facilities Management industry in India is a skill based industry; however, major pie of the total Human Resource deployed is in the category of Unskilled; while on one side there is a pitching by the industry to be delivering quality & value added services; on the other side deployment is largely in the Unskilled category; the two do not corroborate as much with each other. While every organisation in this industry is bidding or maintaining contracts with the clients on the basis of Value Added Services; there has not been sufficient shift in the deployment pattern to actually add the value. The techniques of facilities management has evolved many folds; today the Human Resource deployed in the Unskilled category is largely on account of costing both from the client as well as the service provider side and also on account of the service provider of their ability to deploy semi-skilled or skilled cadre of Human Resource. So, what is stopping the industry to change the pie when India is such a Human Resource intensive nation? It’s the availability of trained / skilled Human Resource.

So, what is the solution?

In India, deployment of Human Resource in Facilities Management industry is done in two forms; direct by the service provider; or subcontracted to a manpower provider. Either ways; deployment happens direct; meaning by way of providing a one-day or two days training and the rest is OJT. The industry will have to gradually break this convention wherein the pie of deployment in the semi-skilled, skilled & highly skilled cadre needs to be higher than unskilled. In the existing model of deployment no one is getting a premium or value add; whether it’s the Human Resource or Employing Organisation or the Client. The fundamental issue here is that there exists no academic route to this industry; whatever academic institution routed entry are coming in are bye product of academics, training or experience of contemporary industries like hotels, hospitality, tourism, retail, BPO, etc.

b seekers industry; it is more of a head seekers industry. To overcome this deficit and also to make a progress towards leadership; Organisations in this industry will have to invest backwards into academics for their own industry. Human Resource for this industry is like having O-ve Blood Group; one has to create its own bank for the future. Either organisations invest in their own establishments to create such academic centres wherein courses are run for across levels of operations & business or else a tie-up is established with the existing academic institutions for such courses. This is not a new idea; it has been resorted to by organisations but the effectiveness or outcome has been a question. The State Government Employment Offices are very keen on enhancing employability; a partnership with them can work well there as well. Yes, there is one word of caution here; NGOs; not many NGOs are working on employability model and this intervention has not been much successful in the past and the apprehension is that it may not work as much in the future. Immediately the question comes; can the industry afford such investments?

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