Maintenance Q&As

How do you retain excellent technicians?

Answered May 11 2019

Keeping a talented team of maintenance technicians requires a positive corporate work environment, a culture focused on meaningful training and development, and an ongoing battle of elevating the profession’s public perception.

Although these may sound like tall orders, retaining excellent technicians must be a top priority for facility managers in the future. According to a survey conducted by several industry websites, only 7 percent of facilities employees have worked in the industry for fewer than four years. When you compare that with the fact that nearly one-quarter of those surveyed have spent more than two decades in the field, you can clearly see the future decline.

This problem goes straight to the bottom line. The Manufacturing Institute says that manufactures in this county alone may be losing as much as 11 percent of net annual earnings due to the shortage of technicians. Here’s how to hold onto the best:

Maintain an Excellent Corporate Culture

Besides enjoying the tasks you perform, one of the best measures of job satisfaction is a positive work environment. Make sure your top management spends some time focused on developing an excellent corporate culture where employees are valued and appreciated. Consider offering as much flexibility as possible so your team feels cared about as human beings as well as employees.

Offer State-of-the-Art Professional Development Opportunities

By providing advanced training on emerging technologies to your current technicians, you’ll be sending a message that you care about their professional development and want to give them what they need to earn more and advance their careers. One study showed that less than 10 percent of manufacturers are working to create groomed roles for their older or more unskilled technicians. That provides an opportunity for those facilities who are willing to go the extra mile to help that group grow, learn, and advance within your organization.

Elevate Perception of Profession

Work with your current technicians to reach out to the community, local high schools, and other institutions of learning. According to a study by SME, one-fifth of parents believe the maintenance field is outdated and does not provide a rewarding career. By getting your top talent out in the public, you can help change that overall perception as well as introduce the next generation to the exciting opportunities in facilities maintenance.

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