Improving maintenance team performance

August 14, 2020

The challenges for a maintenance team manager can be many.

Sometimes the organization itself may not give enough importance to the maintenance function.

The size and autonomy of teams vary by industry, organization size, and business model.

It is not uncommon for teams to have only a few overworked members in their day-to-day work.

There is fear of change and the consequences of employing new technologies, to name a few of the challenges.


The actions of the leader say much more than any words.

Then let the necessary meetings be held, such as quick talks about the daily activities, feedback meetings (feedback on actions or events that have occurred), brainstorming meetings (when necessary) to find a solution or map a root cause of failure, etc.

Communicating and leading by example, that is, doing what the team is expected to do, especially in the attitudes of proactivity, active listening and clear communication of what is needed, and more, working with a purpose are values that will motivate and engage the team.

All of this will result in less turnover, which in turn improves work quality and productivity.

The mapping and development of competencies allows the identification of bottlenecks and the establishment of the necessary training in order to improve and align the team’s performance.

The attitude of each employee is something that should be observed on a daily basis, in his or her willingness to do well the service assigned, to share lessons learned, to be proactive in identifying potential problems, among others. 


Research brings new information about the role of motivation.

In the book Motivation 3.0 – The new motivational factors for personal and professional achievement, author Daniel H. Pink highlight some interesting findings about the science of motivation.

The belief that people are primarily motivated by salary increases or praise is no longer true.

The author’s research indicates that people are motivated by autonomy, mastery of their tasks, and a sense of purpose in their work.

It means that the worker, to be effective, needs independence, to have the chance to improve his/her skills (training), and to feel that his work is worthwhile.


It is often heard that employees simply trade their time for money. This can be changed by leaders who inspire employees to take responsibility on the assumption that:

  • Employees want to do a good job and be successful;
  • Discipline must be taught and kept constant, rather than used only to demand compliance;
  • Relationships (not the position) are the best tool to influence the performance of individuals on the team.


  • Establish and communicate what is expected of each person;
  • Align individual and team goals with the factory floor goals and the organization’s strategies and vision;
  • Provide the necessary time, training, tools, and resources;
  • Empower the individuals on the team to succeed;
  • Give feedback and recognition;
  • Take action when individuals or the team do not meet expectations.


The age of digitization in industry has arrived to aid productivity and cost reduction.

There is still limited knowledge and practical application on the factory floor about all the potential that this new era can still provide.

Just as technologies and their use have evolved, from radio, TV, computers, smartphones, and tablets, what is taken for granted is that digitalization, machine learning, sensing for data collection and decision making through them, is coming at a faster rate than previous innovations.

And who drives the change process for the adoption of new technologies that cannot be ignored?

The people. In the industry it’s also like this.

A common factor of new technologies is learning how to deal with them.

More complex or simply a novelty, they can impact various sectors of an industry: production, technology (IT), purchasing, and of course maintenance, to name a few.

The new technologies will be in the equipment to be purchased or replaced that then needs to be maintained to ensure the availability and reliability of the production line.

New technologies are not watertight, they need IT management with hardware and software integrations and, that everything is in perfect working order whenever needed.

Understanding and accepting this interdependence shows that better results can be achieved through collaboration.

If the organization can define common indicators for interdependent departments, excellent.

If they are not defined, the relationship between the middle management of these departments will be taking a good step towards the much needed collaboration.

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