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Facility Maintenance Decisions

You’ve earned a designation. Now what?

By Dan Hounsell   Maintenance & Operations

Maintenance and engineering managers spend an increasing amount of time working on continuing professional education. The phenomenon is one result of a maturing profession. In the same vein, front-line technicians spend a fair amount of time taking part in training on troubleshooting and maintaining key facility systems and technology. Technology advances, along with a dearth of skilled workers, are driving this trend.

So, once the training has ended, or once a manager has earned a professional designation, what happens? Too often, nothing, as far as the rest of the organization knows.

Presumably, the time spent in management and technical training benefits the organization through a more efficiently managed department and through a more productive work force.

But not many managers take the next important step: Telling anyone who will listen about what they or their departments accomplished.

In failing to doing so, they miss out on an opportunity to market themselves and their departments to the very people who should care the most — facility executives and customers throughout facilities.

A brief tour of web sites of maintenance departments and physical plants finds that few, if any, departments shine a light on managers’ professional designations, department certifications, technician awards, and the like. Yet a department’s web site is the first place customers visit when they have a maintenance question or need a technician’s help. What better place for such news?

In some ways, it’s understandable that more managers don’t take advantage of the opportunity, whether on a web site, in a newsletter or with plaques on the wall. Departments are traditionally an out-of-site, out-of-mind operations, and bragging doesn’t come naturally. Maybe more importantly, managers and technicians generally have their hands full with the daily challenges of maintenance and engineering.

But here’s another way to look at it: Managers and their staffs devote time and money to earning designations and upgrading their skills, all to benefit the organization. Why not tell the organization about the accomplishments? As a wise man once said, it’s not bragging if you’ve done it.

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  posted on 12/1/2005   Article Use Policy

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