Finding Opportunities to Increase the Confidence and Capabilities of Your Repair Team
Your repair and maintenance team is only as good as you enable them to be. That means more than hiring competent people. It means finding room within your workplace to provide them with opportunities for improvement. Allow them to test themselves and expand their knowledge, encounter diversity and overcome, and get the support they need to grow. Thankfully, it’s not hard to manufacture these opportunities. You just need to be cognizant of them.
Often, opportunities to learn and grow present themselves automatically. Smart manufacturers know how to recognize and capitalize on them. It’s about recognizing the ultimate benefit of empowering your workforce. What do you get out of pushing them to succeed? Myriad benefits, including a more competent, skilled, confident group that’s ready to deliver superior service.
Take a look at a few opportunities that manufacturers can leverage in their favor to not only bolster their workforce but also create long-term ROI:
- Promote or pay for continuing education. Continuing education is the quickest way to solidify thorough expertise. Times change and a workforce that changes with it will be better equipped to deal with new challenges and expectations. Accommodate techs who want to go back to school. Incentivize factory training. Where possible, pay for your techs to learn new skills. It’s an investment worth making!
- Find teachable moments in problem situations. Problems happen and there’s little you can do to run an entirely problem-free facility. When problems strike, don’t get frustrated. Use it as a teachable moment to show your techs what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future. Mistakes present the best learning opportunities.
- Create no-risk learning opportunities. You’re decommissioning an old machine. Before sending it to the scrap heap, have your techs learn basic procedures on it. Or, you’re getting a new machine delivered and installed. Set time aside for your team to observe and learn more about the equipment as it’s being installed. These moments are no-risk, all-reward for expanding the confidence and capabilities of your team.
- Delegate and provide feedback. Don’t be afraid to give your team more responsibility. Put them in a position to succeed by giving them clear-cut instructions and expectations, showing them you have confidence in their abilities. And, regardless of the job they do, provide them with feedback that helps them develop good habits.
- Empower leadership. Recognize people within your ranks who consistently take on more responsibility and strive to become better. Empower those people. Put them on the front lines of your maintenance and repair staff, knowing they’ll embrace adversity and grow because of it. These are your future managers and team leads.
- Provide honest, ongoing reviews. Let your staff know you’re paying attention. Conducting semi-annual reviews is a great way to assess performance, while also discussing opportunities for improvement. Talk with your staff candidly to learn more about their approach to professional growth and what opportunities you can provide.
Given enough opportunities, your workforce will naturally become more confident and capable. The more they see and do, the more they’ll adapt to new challenges and rely on old knowledge to solve new problems. It’s a win-win for both employees and your factory. It also creates a culture of excellence.