Motivation starts with great leadership
Massive amounts of research and studies have gone into leadership styles and motivator tactics. There is a lot of articles on the do’s and don’ts of leadership, so we’ve collected some specific leadership tactics that we think would be helpful.
1. Work backwards, why aren't your employees motivated?
One approach that a facility manager explained to us was to consider the rationale behind an employee’s un-motivated attitude. Facility managers need to be flexible in their style as a one-approach-fits-all mentality won’t always work for each member of your maintenance team. By better understanding why an employee is unmotivated and creating a structure to tend to their individual challenges, employees will receive the specific tools they need to do their jobs better. Some workers may feel relieved that a CMMS solution is in place, while others may fear it. Through constant communication, you can hone in on the specific reactions and current mind frame of each individual. If you’re unsure where to start to motivate a particular employee, ask them. People are normally in tune with their own needs and can often determine solutions to their own problems if given the environment to do so.
2. Offer schedule flexibility
Times have changed since the days when punctuality was the most important element of a good worker. This isn’t to say that technicians should be allowed to come in a half hour late each day and leave whenever they want, but rather their work ethic, consistent meeting of deadlines, teamwork, and quality of work should be the main considerations of what makes a good employee. Being flexible with employee time shows workers that you trust them enough to get the work done and will not penalize an employee for coming in 5 minutes late or needing to leave early because their child is sick. It means empowering workers to meet their own timelines and that the biggest pressure they should face isn’t that of a punch card, but rather the quality of their work. Be understanding of worker time, but make sure to set boundaries. If an employee is consistently late and is not meeting their targets, meet with them to find why.
3. Find the natural leader
If you feel like you’ve lost control of your maintenance department or are struggling to identify with members of your team, try enlisting the help of a natural leader from your department. Natural born leaders are charismatic and often have good a rapport with their fellow team members. Sometimes it can be difficult to balance the line between being both friend and manager to your team. Leveraging the pull of an employee who the rest of the group looks up to- usually a more senior member of the team- can be very helpful in diffusing new policy changes or procedures. If the group sees the employee attending training sessions and working with new policies instead of against them, they are more likely to follow their example
4. Listen to your employees, their contributions are important
More often than not, people just want their opinions heard. Make sure your employees feel comfortable enough to come to you with issues and suggestions by confirming that their contributions are important. Frequently ask their opinion and try to implement employee suggestions whenever possible. Once employees see real change as a result of their feedback, they will be more likely to come forward with issues or positive comments. People on the ground floor often have more insight into trouble areas or improvements than management.
5. Show them what you've got
Words and meetings only go so far in showing your team a positive example. It’s important to frequently teach by example and get in the trenches with the rest of your team. Working alongside your department is one of the best ways to review the proper procedure of a task and exhibit that you’re not above their “simple daily tasks”. If you have a lofty target of work to be done, roll up your sleeves and work with them. Work orders will be completed faster, the quality of work will be better, and your team is much more likely to view a manager as just one of the their own.
6. Reward good performance, more than pointing out the bad
Maintenance managers are busy people and when issues arise, the first reaction is to discipline employees for mistakes made. Change the conversation by pointing out positive feedback more frequently than bad. This requires more work than the reactionary style, where managers need to be constantly on top of the things that go right. You don’t want to create an environment where employees are always afraid to speak with you, so make sure you focus on random occurrences of positive feedback instead of deliberate meetings to go over the negative.
Written by Margeaux Girardin
Originally posted on hippocmms.com