Without proper maintenance, your business wouldn’t function properly (at least, for long). Having a skilled maintenance manager ensures that the appropriate tasks are handled in a timely manner and that the employees within the department receive the guidance and direction they need to perform to the best of their ability. But what separates a good maintenance manager from a great one?
There are certain characteristics that define great leadership. To help you find a stellar maintenance manager amongst a sea of applications, be sure to look for these five traits.
Leadership from the Frontlines
Maintenance tasks are often hands-on jobs, and a manager that is willing to get their hands dirty right alongside their team will often command more respect. Instead of finding a candidate that leads by words only, find one that leads by example. Employees are more likely to follow the requests of someone who isn’t asking them to do something they themselves would not do.
This style of leadership also helps the manager stay abreast of any issues that need addressing. This can include obstacles to their employees being able to complete their jobs, as well as internal conflicts between team members. Being involved directly with activities helps keep the manager informed and allows them to adjust their approach according to the situation at hand.
Organization and Planning
The work of a maintenance department is part reactive and part proactive. While sudden system and equipment failures must be addressed immediately, preventative maintenance activities need to be planned in advance. An effective maintenance manager can strike a balance between maintaining a schedule and adapting to urgent needs without falling behind on either. This requires significant experience in the areas of organization and planning, as well as knowledge regarding how to delegate tasks and respond to changing priorities.
Subject area knowledge is the foundation of a strong maintenance manager. They need to understand what it takes to complete a task, including the materials and tools needed, as well as the time. This helps them organize activities more efficiently while ensuring their expectations of their team’s work are reasonable. Without knowledge of what it takes to do these jobs, the maintenance manager will likely run into trouble fairly quickly.
Being knowledgeable allows them to do the work, but it is better if they can take that a step further. Having the ability to teach and train employees successfully can be invaluable, especially when they have vast experience in the field. It can also lower costs of training new and current employees, as they can learn from the maintenance manager directly.
This also helps ensure redundancy amongst the skill sets present. If the manager is the only person who possesses certain knowledge, they can train others to create double-coverage opportunities. Then you can rest assured knowing that all tasks can be completed even when someone is unexpectedly absent.
Accountability and Recognition
The ability to accept responsibility for things that go wrong, and to hold accountable those who misstep, is a necessary leadership trait. But it is equally important to be able to recognize the efforts of those within your team and ensure proper credit is given when it is due. Failing to do either can lead to issues of respect and trust within the team which can negatively affect the function of the team.