5 Ways to Keep Your Maintenance Team Motivated and Efficient

As many top-level managers think of maintenance strictly as a cost center, it is not rare that maintenance managers, year after year, have to look for new ways to reduce the cost of their operations. As one might expect, working with an ever-shrinking budget puts a lot of pressure on their maintenance teams.

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In light of that, we’re going to leave you with a few ideas on how to alleviate that pressure and keep your maintenance team motivated and efficient.

A Balanced and Efficient Preventative Maintenance Schedule

Creating a preventative maintenance schedule that is both balanced and efficient is sometimes more difficult than you might think. This schedule has to be based on correct data and objective look at your available resources in order for it to work to your advantage.

In short, you have to:

  1. Know your maintenance goals
  2. Know the strategies to achieve these goals
  3. Have clear records of your assets and inventory
  4. Decide who is best at each task
  5. Assign the tasks accordingly

The main trap you should avoid is scheduling too much preventive work. If you have a maintenance software like CMMS, you can use it to fine-tune your PM schedule. In simpler terms, use the manufacturer’s suggestions for the initial PM schedule. If the machine keeps breaking (which is recorded in the CMMS), adjust your PM schedules accordingly.

On top of everything mentioned, a balanced PM schedule also needs to promote a fair division of work (in terms of volume) among the employees as that will remove unnecessary friction and ensure a healthier working environment.

However, that doesn’t mean everyone should work on the same number of certain type of tasks.

Some employees are better at PM type tasks, and others have specialized skills so you wouldn’t want to waste their skilled labor on PMs.

That’s why it is important to get your entire time on board and explaining WHY a PM plan makes sense.  Make everyone feel as if they are on a team and then (if you do it right) they won’t complain if one person has more PM work then the other, because everyone is working towards the same goal. 

Listening to Employee Feedback

It is imperative to listen to your maintenance staff when they can come to you with concerns and suggestions. You might get a suggestion on how to improve stale part inventory (parts that never get used) or how to speed-up certain tasks.

On top of that, always keep in mind that, while CMMS provides a plethora of useful data, some things can only be noticed by the people who are actually turning the wrench.

In the end, this is simple psychology. If someone invests an additional effort to give you a feedback, they will feel more appreciated and motivated when their feedback is taken seriously. Additionally,

Access to Helpful Tools

Having access to a tool like CMMS makes a technician's life easier and makes them significantly more efficient as it is designed to improve your maintenance operations across the board.

They will no longer have to inspect the same thing twice because an important information got lost on it’s way to their supervisor, file cabinets can finally become a thing of the past, time-consuming inventory checks become obsolete…and those are just a few benefits of using a computerized maintenance management system that every technician will welcome with open arms.

Having tools that can automate and speed up dull tasks is a blessing to every employee and maintenance technicians are no exception.

Provide Training

A 2016 Pew Research Center survey, " The State of American Jobs ," found that:

87% of workers believe it will be essential for them to get training and develop new job skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with changes in the workplace.

A thought leader realizes that training is one of the most important factors in job completion, as well as job safety . By providing free training to your employees, they are better able to learn your standards of work and gain skills that help them do their job more efficiently.

Nobody likes to feel unsafe while they work, and nobody likes to find themselves in a situation where they are assigned some task they are not sure how to complete.

By offering skill and safety training, you reduce the possibility of either situation which means you directly eliminate part of the tension from the work environment.

Last but not least, offering training to your technicians shows them that they are valued as you are making a long-term investment in them and that in itself is an excellent motivational tool.

Make the Job Fun

Work may not always be fun but you can foster a more pleasing atmosphere by making your employees want to be there. There are many avenues that you can take to achieve this, such as offering incentives to those who perform well, recognize those who are the MVPs of the department, set clear and attainable goals, give positive feedback, offer encouragement, and encourage dialogue that has entrepreneurial thinking.

As stated by Chron :

By knowing what motivates its employees, the organization can use this information to help them perform their roles effectively.

It's no secret that people want to feel needed and by making the job more fun, even with simple things, it encourages a better work performance. Something as simple as having refreshments at a department meeting can mean the difference in employee motivation and engagement.

All of these tips are conducive to making it easier on your staff members and helps ensure that your maintenance department runs like a well-oiled machine.

 

Writer of this article for Maintworld magazine: Bryan Christiansen

Bryan_Christiansen

Christiansen is the founder and CEO at Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy to use  mobile CMMS software  that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.

HSE | 4.9.2018

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