7 Steps To Keep Your Facility Techs Motivated.The construction and technician industry is challenging. It’s hard work, and wears hard on the body. Keeping your workers motivated, on task and efficient can feel like a herculean challenge. When work crews are inefficient, it can cause a host of issues: it costs more time and money to complete tasks, it can cause rifts between managers and employees, and it can even result in safety concerns.
So how do you motivate your crew? While every crew is different and every employee has to be self-motivated as well, leadership starts from the top. Here are some ways to get your crew going:
1. Set Clear Expectations
Nothing will derail a project faster than confused and frustrated employees. If you aren’t clear with what is expected, they may flounder and fumble trying to figure out what they’re supposed to be doing. A clear list of tasks and established methodology for how to proceed makes it easy to stay on task and move forward confidently after each task is finished.
2. Give Choice
While it’s not realistic to be able to give employees what they want 100% of the time, where it is possible it can go a long way. Would your team prefer to take their first break at 9 rather than 9:30? What projects do they want to work on? Who would like to team up together for those projects? Decision-making fosters a feeling of empowerment and satisfaction with the task one chooses to complete rather than one they were assigned.
3. Get Feedback
No one likes feeling like they aren’t heard or respected, and job site crews are no different. Ask your team what they find appealing about the structure you’re working on, have them share thoughts on how to improve processes, etc. Staying engaged with your team is a crucial part of keeping them motivated — crews are more likely to respond well to managers who are on the ground with them than a faraway voice telling them to do things.
4. Foster Mentorship
Encourage journeymen to mentor apprentices who are seeking a path to follow in the trade. Plum assignments foster relationship-building between different groups and are a good way to recognize the talents of seasoned workers.
5. Reward Them
Whether this be monetary compensation or a crew lunch after a hard day of work, employees want to feel appreciated. The simple pleasures of a hot meal or a cold drink after a long day under the sun or snow can go a long way to fostering positive employee relationships and engender good feelings towards management. Making it a monthly or bi-monthly occurrence is a strong way to boost crew morale.
6. Make Room for Advancement
When employees do good work, make sure to call it out. Public announcements of achievements both foster a sense of pride in individual workers and healthy competition in the group to achieve similar goals. This includes role advancements. If employees don’t feel like they can advance, they’re likely to be less motivated — filling supervisor roles internally rather than hiring externally shows your crew that they can move up if they apply themselves. Make this goal attainable: providing leadership training workshops for those who want to advance.
7. Be Realistic
One of the main causes of project delay are unrealistic timelines. Your employees are people too, and even if you perform all of these tasks and keep them working hard all day every day, you’re still bound to fall behind. If the delay is beyond their (or your) control, keeping a relaxed atmosphere rather than berating them for being late with work is going to make them work faster and better than if they’re stressed and rushing.
These methods should help you foster a motivated team that is incentivized to perform well and who wants to do well. The bottom line is to always lead by example and remember that your employees are human and have needs from their job beyond a paycheck.
How do you keep your employees motivated? What strategies have worked and failed for you in the past? Share your experiences in the comments below!