Why Bother Training a Good Maintainer to be a Supervisor?

By: Tom Houston

Doesn’t a good maintainer already know most of what maintenance is all about?

I will attempt to answer these questions by starting with a sporting analogy (which is mainly business these days anyhow!)

A great individual player is not necessarily a great team player (think about when basketball allowed professional players into the Olympics and the reactions of some of the great professional players from the USA – they wanted separate accommodation, special meals, special treatment all the time!)

Also, a great individual player is not necessarily a great coach, and in fact this is rarely the case. Playing sport or carrying out maintenance work is a factor of natural talent and hard work, with most of the focus on getting good at the game or work and thinking about your own game and success.

When you are a Supervisor however, you have accountability for a team of people not just primarily thinking about your own work. You need to consider their safety, wellbeing, job satisfaction and their development will be influenced by how you lead the team. And another thing, you are not the Boss, you are their leader. As a leader you have an opportunity to influence and inspire others to become part of a successful, well-coordinated team of maintenance professionals.

There are a lot of new skills and knowledge needed to become a good Supervisor, things like

  • Developing a culture of ownership of the equipment your team work on and your business
  • Leading people in managing their Health and Safety and impacts on the Environment
  • Communication skills
  • Preparing for and running meetings
  • Dealing with behavioural issues and difficult people
  • Setting expectations, monitoring, and helping people to develop.

This is 2020, not 1970, and supervising people is not about just setting rules and kicking butts, but leading people - empowering, inspiring and developing them (occasionally you may still have to resort to formal discipline for serious breaches if required).

When I first became a Supervisor, I was thrown in the deep end and given the rule book to look over. You need to make mistakes to truly learn in any field, but without any real guidance the mistakes can be serious and take a long time to get trust and credibility back with the team. That is not the way to support and develop someone to become a good leader.

The Bluefield Supervisors course is a practical programme of learning by gaining knowledge in all key areas of your work, discussing this with your peers and applying the learning objectives in a practical way back in the workplace. The final module is a workshop with other Supervisors from your company, (face-to-face option) facilitated by experienced Bluefield specialists, to make sure everyone gets a clear and consistent understanding of the key messages. Alternatively, a personalised 1-to-1 live- online meeting with your Bluefield course facilitator, (online option) To help you get a successful outcome will continue working with your coach to bounce ideas off and discuss any questions you may have.

 

For more information about the Bluefield Supervisor Course click here