Behind every successful facility is an amazing maintenance team working behind the scenes to keep things running. What’s behind that amazing maintenance team? A manager who knows how to get the best out of them. Here are a few ways you can make your team more productive, and happier overall.
#1: Know How to Motivate
There are plenty of managers out there who rely solely on rewards and punishment to bring out the best in their employees. While those things do motivate to an extent, it’s not enough. People aren’t motivated solely by money, or even by praise—they’re motivated by independence, having chances to improve, and having a sense of purpose in their job. These things are essential to not just surviving day-to-day work, but thriving in it.
Maintenance managers who have a tendency to micromanage can make their technicians feel like mindless drones instead of what they actually are—trusted professionals. You need to hold them accountable, of course, but giving them autonomy over their jobs is just as important. Try following this basic formula: give them what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by, and let them come up with the how. Trust them to decide on the best path to meeting the goals at hand.
With a sense of ownership over tasks and projects, their work quality and their attitudes will improve.
#2: Keep an Open Mind
You already know that maintenance has a direct impact on your company’s bottom line—any time a machine is repaired, things have to be shut down. Obviously, this can significantly chip away at your facility’s profits. Because of this, you should always be on the lookout for new ways to solve old problems. The old way of doing things might not be the most efficient way anymore! Even small adjustments can add up to big time and money savings.
When you’re open to suggestions regarding techniques and technologies, you might be surprised at the ideas that are brought to you. Your team spends the most time with your facility’s equipment and assets, which means they can usually come up with smart and practical modifications that speed things up. Make sure you’re always listening to the input of your team—their knowledge and experience are valuable.
#3: Adopt a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
When you react to emergencies when they come, you don’t give yourself time to think or plan ahead. Regardless of how big or small the emergency situation is, when you’re dealing with emergency repairs, you simply don’t have time for preventive maintenance. This cycle is not an easy one to break, but the right mindset can improve your planning.
By scheduling your preventive inspections ahead of time, your team won’t be scrambling during emergencies, which means they’ll be less stressed and more productive overall.
#4: Positive Accountability
Too often, people confuse “accountability” with “punishment”—but it doesn’t need to be that way. A truly accountable workforce does the best that it can, accepting both successes and failures. You should always assume that your employees want to do the best work they can, and that they’re always trying to have a positive impact on the team.
#5: Breaks Are Important
Stepping away from a difficult task for a little while can do wonders. In fact, regular breaks lead to better work results and greater job satisfaction. Not only can they help with physical aches and pains, but they can also help clear your mind and provide fresh perspective. Of course, if a break is too long, these benefits don’t always come with it. Taking shorter, but more frequent breaks is better than taking one long break.
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