How do you motivate a team of technicians?
Motivating technicians is maybe one of the harder things a maintenance manager or supervisor can do because quantifying morale is difficult. How exactly do you determine “motivation,” and even if you can pin it down, how do you fix low morale?
To start, the issue is very often not with the technicians themselves. Oftentimes if a facility doesn’t have a properly implemented or planned preventive maintenance (PM) program, technicians can feel like they are stretched too thin (too much work) or not utilized effectively (too little work).
In this case, it’s essential that you make sure your facility’s PM program is balanced and provides adequate and targeted work for each individual technician. As a maintenance supervisor, it’s also helpful to sit down and explain your PM program with your technicians so that they feel like a part of a team where their expertise and feedback is valued.
Speaking of feedback, not having your voice heard is one of the more demotivating phenomenons in the workplace. Always listen to the feedback of your technicians. What might seem like simple complaining can actually be a diagnosis of the issues plaguing your facility’s ability to improve its maintenance efforts.
Providing access to ease-of-use software like a CMMS can also be motivating to a team of technicians. Note that this isn’t about making jobs super easy - we know that a CMMS doesn’t get rid of a technician’s workload.
What it does do, though, is makes the process of requesting maintenance, fulfilling work orders, and tracking maintenance work simpler and more efficient, which translates to satisfied employees. No one wants to feel as though their job is made needlessly complex due to the continued use of outdated, frustrating systems.
As a final thought, consider making employee training a priority. If a technician feels like they have no room to grow in their current role, their motivation can fall even if they are proficient at their current job. Some studies even find that a lack of relevant skills training can increase the rate at which employees “burn out” at their job.
In short: provide your employees with the tools and training they need to do their job effectively. Schedule them the appropriate type and amount of work for their skill set. When they tell you about issues in the facility, listen to their feedback.
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