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Give staff training they need for new equipment
October 17, 2012 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's tip is to properly train your maintenance staff to run the sophisticated new technology they may be responsible for. Innovations in building technology often fail to achieve the desired results or performances, according to several studies on the subject. Such poor results are due primarily to the lack of ability and knowledge of the facilities maintenance personnel.
In recent years, institutional and commercial facilities have seen tremendous innovations in technology and equipment. But most facility improvements are not able to deliver the desired results, because the systems that front-line maintenance technicians must run have become so much more complicated. The solution is to give staffers time, labor, and control to achieve the desired outcomes.
Often when contractors install new equipment, nobody from the maintenance staff was included in the design, installment, or start-up. Still, they receive the keys and the owner's manual, and instructions to maintain it. That sets up the maintenance staff to fail. Providing enough time to go through the necessary skills training on equipment will pay dividends to the organizations for years. But time also is relevant to properly maintaining equipment, as well. Facility maintenance must be allowed the time to properly fix equipment, not just work on it.
Help your maintenance and engineering departments develop a sense of control by establishing baseline performance requirements, monitoring that performance, and reacting correctly to any deviation. Managers need to develop policies and procedures, workers need to adhere to maintenance strategies, and properly trained technicians need to capture all activities on work orders.
Changes in facilities are creating new opportunities. Managers can take advantage of advances in technology, the efficiency improvements these advances bring, and the possibilities of improving the sustainability of facilities. With the right approach, they can bring it all together to benefit the department and the organization.