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What are some signs that your maintenance team needs more training?

Investing in your maintenance team is a key part of keeping your facility running at its best. Training is a huge part of how technicians perform their work, and without sufficient skills training or certifications, a facility can be stuck in permanent reactive mode (always responding to emergencies, never planning for the future).

However, problems in a facility can often be tough to identify because so many factors can cause emergency and reactive maintenance. Despite this, we can identify trends throughout a facility and use these trends to train maintenance staff more effectively. Think of this less like “skills my technicians lack” and more like “ways to prepare technicians better for the facility’s needs” – this is more an investment in technician skill than a deficiency in your employees.

As I’ve mentioned above, one way to investigate training needs is to look at the percentage of planned vs. reactive maintenance, especially on a per area basis. If one area of a facility is consistently performing 70-80% reactive maintenance, this could be a problem with assets or it could be that technicians lack the required training to perform their PMs.

It’s also important to look at trends within these reactive maintenance patterns. A facility might see one hundred different reasons for reactive maintenance tasks, which isn’t super helpful, or they might see one or two frequent reasons, in which case they can diagnose a lack of training or knowledge. For example, if an asset consistently fails for lubrication, the facility can identify a need (proper training of lubrication techniques) and fix it.

Another sign is the implementation of new assets, technology, or software. Too often, facilities implement something like a CMMS without worrying about the training (which is why nearly 80% of implementations fail). The facility then receives complaints about using the system despite the fact that they think it’s easy to use. Training on new technologies is vital for making sure maintenance staff can even use them (let alone perform maintenance on them).