Dave Lubach: Training and Retaining Employees Leads to Department Success

Dave Lubach: Training and Retaining Employees Leads to Department Success

By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor  

When a defensive back in football intercepts a pass, his coaches often receive credit for putting him in position to succeed.

Maintenance and engineering managers in institutional and commercial facilities looking to improve the performance of their team of technicians might consider using the same approach: properly train maintenance technicians in order to improve their performance.

To achieve this goal, managers might need to start at the grass roots level. Consider the approach of Pat Crean, then supervisor of buildings and grounds at Dolton School District 149 in Calumet City, Ill., who stressed the basics and watched his staff succeed more than he thought was possible.

Crean’s staff received so little training before his arrival that many technicians did not even know how to use computers. After familiarizing them with basic operations, Crean expanded the process to using spreadsheets and maintaining inventory logs. The staff’s skills improved to the point that the staff received green cleaning certifications online.

For managers trying to develop and fine-tune training for their technicians, consider sitting down with each one to learn more about them. Discuss their goals — what they want to accomplish in their positions. Managers who can build stronger relationships with technicians can benefit in two ways. They will have greater success structuring effective training, and they are likely to retain technicians once they’ve been trained.

For managers wary of investing in training — “What if I train them and they leave?” — consider this question: What if you don’t train them and they stay?

Dave Lubach offers insights gleaned from conversations with managers who make key maintenance and engineering decisions in commercial and institutional facilities. Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/davelubach, and start a conversation.

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  posted on 10/26/2015   Article Use Policy

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