According to one study, more than 30% of respondents found it difficult to find trained maintenance technicians and mechanics, resulting in a shortage of manpower.
Pando Agus Wismoyo
Maintenance requires flexible, hardworking and, above all, skilled workers. Finding the right person to do the job is always a trick in the repair industry, even at the best of times. The CV-19 epidemic has turned the tide, and old examples have been broken for employers and employees. The result is a major labor crisis in the United States, with an average of 13.6 million jobs filled in one month in July 2021.
This labor crisis in the maintenance industry is well documented. Based on a 2021 survey of 1521 participants, most maintenance and facility managers, Limble found that one of the biggest challenges facing maintenance management after COVID-19 was staffing. The study found that more than 30% of trained maintenance technicians and mechanics were difficult to obtain, resulting in a shortage of manpower.
This article provides insight into the four major labor issues facing most maintenance units today and suggests possible solutions.
Skill deficiency – finding skilled maintenance workers
Probably the biggest issue for maintenance managers right now is the lack of skills. One of the problems is that many experienced veterans retire or leave the industry instead of being replaced by new, inexperienced maintenance workers.
Another issue is that multi-asset technology is becoming more complex, like certain machines and equipment. Therefore, many technically skilled maintenance workers are needed, which is lacking in the field.
Solutions – There are a number of solutions to the problem of maintenance deficiencies, including the following.
- Collaborate with local colleges or business schools to create work experience in your department. These partnerships will keep your department updated as you look forward to promising future professionals through a fitness program.
- Create internal counseling programs for young or inexperienced staff. That way, they feel compelled to learn the various and varied skills needed for a modern maintenance business.
- Encourage your experienced staff to become mentors. You will gain a sense of purpose and more pride by sharing your knowledge and skills with young people, newcomers / trainees.
- The manufacturing business can implement auto repair and machine operators. While operators can perform simple tasks such as inspection, cleaning and lubrication, maintenance personnel can focus on more complex tasks.
Lack of knowledge – training of maintenance staff
Labor shortages in the United States are not expected to end any time soon. This exacerbates the lack of knowledge throughout the maintenance industry. Mike McDonald, an experienced maintenance engineer with over 25 years of experience, emphasizes that training is often not easy enough. He advises employees to understand the ‘big picture’ behind any skill. The emphasis should be on educating the maintenance staff, McDonald believes.
Solutions – Remember that training should be an effective solution to a stimulus problem. Training-related solutions may include:
- The emphasis should be on not only the training but also the development of the skill.
- Spend time and energy on all of your maintenance staff, field workers, and office-wide Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis (TNA). This ensures that any and all training is job-friendly and risk-taking.
- Certification allows maintenance technicians to improve and improve their skills. Resources such as job placement and financial support must be provided for these certificates. There are many online courses that can be taken, such as TPC And 360 Training.
Cultural Lack – Culture and Change Management
Culture is called “the nature and personality of your organization.” It makes your business unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors and attitudes. ”A positive organizational culture is more likely to attract talent, engage talent, improve talent, and, most importantly, acquire talent.
The biggest problem in the maintenance industry is the mindset. Fix it when it breaks. Many businesses are trying to implement more efficient maintenance methods. However, when older technicians have been doing this for some 15-plus years, it is difficult to get them to accept technology and start thinking actively.
Solutions – Up to 70% of leadership focus should be focused on culture and only 30% on strategic or technical solutions to issues. And it’s very simple:
- Communicate company values clearly and unequivocally.
- Open a conversation. Between all parts of the company.
- Expand hierarchy. Cut the reporting lines to the lower ones.
- Listen to comments – and that is the opinion of each employee.
- Have an open door policy.
Lack of communication – poor communication and coordination
It is a very serious fact – for most repair departments, there will be times when there is a shortage of staff. If a bad relationship can be bad for a business when there is a full supply of staff, it is even worse when maintenance workers are thinner in one room.
Poor coordination and communication lead to missed repairs, duplication of work, increased property delays and many more problems. All of this results in increased operating costs and reduced productivity throughout the organization.
Solutions – A perfect communication program is important, especially in times of shortage. Two solutions for optimal communication and coordination:
- Computer Maintenance System (CMS) software is an excellent way to monitor, organize, and transfer work schedules for maintenance personnel. This software makes work more efficient, efficient and accurate. This will save your company time and money.
- Typical processes and workflows can be adjusted through standard SOPs and checklists, which reduces the likelihood of communication.
- Organize occasional toolbox meetings To discuss a variety of issues, including communication and operational issues.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during COVID-19. Maintenance departments were typically ‘poor relatives’ for most of the rest, think back. The epidemic changed that, with respect to hygiene protocols and greater focus on property efficiency. More reason to practice, communicate and coordinate as before.
Brian Christston Limble is the founder and CEO of CMS. Limble is a mobile CMS software that helps administrators organize, automate, and optimize their maintenance.