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The Value of Maintenance Training

By giving your staff training, it shows that you believe in their abilities and want to make an investment in their future. They get a sense of ownership and importance within the company that provides them with growth opportunities. There are different ways to achieve this training, but they are not all the same. There are seminars, workshops, tech school classes, videos, webinars and other options to get your staff in front of some sort of education around their area of expertise. Most of these do not look at what your staff knows, but teaches a progression from beginner to intermediate levels, unless it is a specific higher level of a trade. i.e. Basic Electrical vs. 3 phase equipment testing. Some of the progression teachings will be applicable to some of your staff, but may not get them to where you need them to be. Your investment needs to produce specific results. Can you expect your maintenance technician, who was not experienced with electrical wiring, to come back from a basic electrical course and start wiring up equipment without faults, errors or injury? These courses can be great for some learning, but without hands on training that progresses into site work, most fail to engrain any real depth of professional learning.

Another option is to hire FMC to come in and train your staff on the equipment they are or will be responsible for. Basic Steps Include:

• Evaluation of the staff/individual’s maintenance abilities • Determine the equipment/tools available for the work • Understand the tasks/projects desiring to be done • Set up a written training plan for the employee(s) • Train with hands on applications at your site

It is a little more in depth than that, but the training needs are determined before the education begins. This is a tailor made course for your employees growth. The benefit of having the ability to do more in-house work vs. hiring contractors comes back to ownership. If your employees start thinking like the Owner, overall quality will improve. How they use their time and how the company budget is allocated will change, along with operational issues with the systems they maintain. During the training, they will work on items at your site, not only learning but performing maintenance tasks. Side-by-side training will give your staff the opportunity for questions and insight on the task or equipment that is the focus of the work. The maintenance actions learned will be demonstrated by your employees to ensure they are knowledgeable in the areas of training. This is very important, especially if you have an employee that is just starting out their career in the maintenance field. You will have various levels of expertise in numerous trades within your staff. Cross training your employees may be a direction you need to pursue to balance out your department. If you have the ability to assign similar tasks to a variety of maintenance personnel, stress will be reduced for all involved, along with the number of outstanding work orders diminish.

Additional recommendations and directions will be given to your company on proceeding with training, tool acquisition or other operations improvement items. There are a lot of other options for areas of training or support that can be done at your site. The following are just a few things that you can choose from:

• Contractor vs. In-house tasks – What needs to change to grow this year? • PM/Predictive Maintenance Review or Update • Upcoming Projects/Construction Support – Commissioning Plan, Effect on staff/visitors during process, Bids/process for work, etc. • Customer Service Support • Troubleshooting of persistent issues or items not resolved • System review and plan for restoring to original or better operations – Re-commissioning • Annual training with Certified Contractors • Facility Management Support – Do you feel in control of your site, programs, staff and department?

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