The Importance of Proper Maintenance Training
By: Larry MacRae, Maintenance Technical Training provided by the Atlanta Apartment Association
Having worked in apartment maintenance for over 35 years and I cannot state enough the importance of proper training. In those 35 years, I have had the opportunity to work with maintenance technicians that were well trained and those that were not. I cannot blame those individuals who don’t have the knowledge required to do their jobs correctly, because they didn’t receive or didn’t have the opportunity to receive proper training.
The thing I would like to make clear is, training by a professional will provide the groundwork needed for a technician to perform at a higher level than someone who may have been trained by an on- site supervisor. The supervisor may not have the time or to be quite honest, the knowledge needed to train on the fundamentals of HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical or Appliance repair.
I could go on for hours on how improperly trained maintenance technicians cost properties thousands of dollars, because their company thinks it costs too much to properly train their maintenance staff. In turn its only pennies on the dollar compared to costs relating to unnecessary parts replacements.
I have listed 6 reason how training saves your community money.
- Untrained Employees = Unhappy Employees. Maintenance employees who feel inadequate, underachieving, or unsupported are unhappy. They aren’t satisfied in their work, which will cause them to underperform, make mistakes, and not care about the work they produce that results in lost time and money.
- Untrained Technicians Have a Low Production Value. The quality of their work is lower and of less value. The quality in performance is lower than it could (or should) be.
- Untrained Technicians Are Inefficient. More time (and therefore money) and effort is spent when maintenance employees aren’t fully or properly trained to perform their tasks or to fulfill their responsibilities. It takes them longer to complete work orders and there are more call backs.
- Lost Time/Money Due to Mistakes. When an untrained maintenance technicians make mistakes, the time and materials used are lost. The work then must be done again. Or worse, they could injure themselves or someone else.
- An Increase in Miscellaneous Expenses. These are more difficult to track or attribute to untrained maintenance employees, but they are there. Incorrectly completed work orders means that it takes more time to fix the mistake, more materials and parts, increased costs and more time the supervisor takes rechecking the work. If it were done correctly the first time, these delays and costs wouldn’t be there.
- Lost Residents. Untrained employees can cause many of the mistakes listed above, and those mistakes and inefficiencies can cause your community to lose residents. Unhappy residents are the worst possible scenario, but it can happen.
Click here for more information on upcoming courses and certifications.