How to train the mechanical maintenance team

August 13, 2020

The starting point for a well-formed and competent team is still in the selection and hiring process.

A detailed description of the position, its requirements in terms of training and technical skills, and consideration of how the candidates’ qualifications compare with those of the company’s current staff, are all desirable precautions.

In a previous text, some tips for building a high-performance team were suggested.

Aspects such as the role of leadership, safety, key indicators, and the need for continuous improvement are addressed.


One may ask “what if we train the employee and he leaves?” or worse “what if we don’t train him and he stays?”

Experience indicates that a mediocre employee is the one that you have the most difficulty to lay off.

It is known, in practice, that industrial machinery evolves with new technologies and uses, that industries seek greater competitiveness, and that the knowledge era is already part of the world and of Brazil.

And even more, that there are huge differences in processes, technologies, and team formation between industries in different segments and even in the same segment.

Even though there are limitations on skilled labor, finding the way to train within the company’s values and culture and establishing retention mechanisms is an ongoing task to keep the industry standing.

The company needs to adapt, learn continuously, and redefine its best practices. So does the individual who works in it! Therefore, always train your team. Training is investing in the sustainability of the business.


The competence mapping matrix is a tool for determining, in the various functions and levels within the same function, the current and desired situation regarding the abilities to perform a given task.

It is desirable that both technical skills and behavioral attitudes are identified and their leveling out is sought.

It is understood that the application universe in different industries and teams can vary significantly, which is why the manager must develop a model that is best suited for his or her situation.

If, right from the hiring process, the desired competencies for a particular role are defined, the first step has been taken.

The practical exercise will show how close to the ideal the skill of each employee is, and from this, the training can be shaped to align the skill and behavior to the desired level.


Training means to develop competence. And, competence implies knowledge (knowing), skill (knowing how to do) and attitude (willpower).

Each training session must have a focus, an objective to be reached. This objective must be aligned with the objective of the maintenance sector, which in turn will be aligned with the objective of the organization. The objective then becomes the purpose for action.

The motivation – the reason for action – of the human being, which, in a simplified way, can be defined as the will to perform a certain activity with quality and commitment allied to the need to do the work previously defined.

The will is the desire to meet certain needs through resources obtained in the work environment.

Once the competencies and their needs have been defined, it is clearer to establish the focus of the training and to name who should participate in it.

Once the need for training is identified, it is planned, executed, and then its effectiveness or practical application is measured. Some training formats and learning actions:

  • Short training sessions, given by internal team members.
  • Training given by equipment suppliers.
  • Specific training hired from specialists or third parties.
  • Reading of procedures, reports, manuals, norms and books.
  • Participation in the development of procedures and instructions.
  • Participation in discussion groups and evaluation of learned lessons.
  • Rotation of activities among collaborators.
  • Participation in external sectorial events directly related.


Establishing best practices through daily work, mentoring, skill leveling, and by adding the record in detailed procedures to be followed will build knowledge management within the team, the department, and the organization.

Training, encouraging self-development and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement, will avoid rework, motivate the team while generating a sense of belonging and commitment. Besides having a positive effect on the safety of the team and the environment, it will decrease turnover and contribute to talent retention.

Training saves time, increases productivity and quality, and therefore also a reduction in costs.

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