Three Ways to Build Technician Pride

There’s a difference between doing a job and doing a job with pride. Supervisors occasionally should audit the work that technicians complete.
There were no Saturday morning cartoons in my house as a kid. Saturday was chore day. Even now, I still can hear my dad say, “Get out of bed and get to work!” Saturdays were lawn cutting day, and because my dad was a Marine, the chore had to be done a certain way.

Because of my childhood lawn care experiences, to this day I want a nice yard. I want to be proud of my hard work. I want the neighbors to have lawn envy.

Just like the pride I take in my yard, maintenance and engineering managers should take pride in the operations of their facilities. We want managers and front-line technicians to be proud of their ability and to work hard. The most successful facilities are those where the occupants don’t realize how nice they have it and where others envy the beauty and operation of the facility.

There’s a difference between doing a job and doing a job with pride. What is the difference between doing the right job and doing the job right?

My neighbor a couple of doors down has an ugly lawn. Yes, he cuts it, but it’s mostly weeds and dry patches. Is this an example of getting the right job done or doing the job right? I’m not sure if he takes pride in his work or just gets the job done.

The same goes for services throughout institutional and commercial facilities. Technicians need to take personal pride in the work they do each day, and supervisors occasionally should audit the work that technicians complete. Supporting the process are maintenance planners who review work orders for completeness, actual time spent on the job, materials and tools accounted for, and feedback from the technician doing the work.

But how do managers get their staff motivated to take pride in their work and do the job right? Here are my suggestions.

Build trust

The top motivator for employees is trust. Do they trust their supervisor or manager to have their backs? Too many people believe money is a motivator. It’s not. Money is only a stimulator — a short-term gain that creates no lasting results. I wrote a Management Insight column on this topic in the August 2022 issue of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

One of the most influential people in my career was a man who started a company in his garage and built it into a business with 600-plus employees. Every Thursday, he walked around and personally handed out each paycheck so he could get face time with every employee.

Communicate effectively

Many maintenance and engineering managers might think they are communicating effectively and believe they are natural born communicators. In reality, communication problems with front-line technicians are often caused by supervisors’ or managers’ assumptions, opinions and biases, the lack of a clear strategy and objectives, information overload, and limited or ineffective feedback.

Lack of communication is not expressing yourself fully or omitting crucial information. It also can affect areas such as employee productivity and work relationships. Communicating effectively in the workplace is not just exchanging information. When done well, proper communication has real influence to motivate the organization and engage employees in collaboration that supports the facilities expectations, goals, and objectives.

Leaders who consistently communicate effectively and use it as a tool to relate the organization’s initiatives and progress can inspire and motivate employees, keeping them focused and working together toward success.

There are four primary forms of communication — verbal, nonverbal, visual and written. One communication skill that managers must have is active listening, which involves paying close attention to the person being communicated with by engaging with them, asking questions and rephrasing. Active listening can build respect with colleagues and increase understanding in the workplace. Managers who actively listen focus on the speaker and avoid distractions, such as cell phones and laptops.

Using the right method of communication is critical. There are benefits and disadvantages to communicating through emails, texts and phone calls. Communication is more effective when managers consider the audience, the information being shared and the best way to share it.

What is the best method of effective communication? Face to face. When employees feel that there is genuine open two-way communication, they will take more pride in their work and not want to disappoint.

Acknowledge Contributions

Based on industry research and my own experience, employees are motivated when they feel a part of and contributing to an organization. Managers need to have a true belief that employees make an organization great and want to do a quality job.

Supervisors must reinforce the sense that team members are contributing and doing a job well. As children, we all wanted positive feedback from our parents. I felt great when my dad said, “The lawn looks great!” If you want to kill someone’s motivation, point out their failures.

Acknowledge the hard work and talent of each team member to keep them motivated. The recognition shows your employees that you noticed their efforts and encourages them to do more of the same. If you have correctional feedback, end the meeting on a positive note to show that you also notice the employee’s efforts. This will also build trust. Remember, praise in public, reprimand in private.

By taking the time to acknowledge the daily efforts of employees, managers can help them feel valued, build their sense of contributing, and encourage them to continue doing quality work. Having them take pride in the work they do leads to a positive impact on the organization. Reward that behavior, and they will do everything they can not to disappoint.

Now wake up and get to work!

Andrew Gager

Andrew Gager

President / CEO

About the Author

Andrew has been recognized as an industry leading expert in facilitation, global implementations of operations best practices, maintenance systems, and supply chain with over 20 years of industry experiences ranging from warehousing operations to plant management and over 20 years of consulting and facilitating trainings. Mr. Gager has worked extensively in the manufacturing, oil & gas, food & beverage, facility management, power gen, pharma, and transportation industries. Andrew specializes in optimizing operations, maintenance best practices, materials management and has facilitated dozens of international improvement initiatives. Currently Andrew is the CEO of AMG International Consulting, Inc. where his focus is developing, implementing, and supporting reliability-based solutions within the overall Asset Performance Management system.

As an accredited “Certified Maintenance Reliability Professional” (CMRP), “Certified in Production and Inventory Management “(CPIM), “Certified Reliability Leader” (CRL), “Six Sigma Green Belt” (CSSGB), and Certified Asset Management Assessor (CAMA). Mr. Gager holds a BS degree in Business & Operations Management from Rochester Institute of Technology

Published On: April 5th, 2024 / Categories: Uncategorized /

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