Facility and equipment maintenance has become quite dynamic in recent times — new techniques, methodologies and tools are continually being developed to optimize maintenance management. Regardless of their area of specialization, maintenance employees need lifelong learning to remain relevant and up-to-speed in this ever-evolving profession.
Though there are many learning options available, online courses continue to be popular because they offer several benefits and can empower workers to quickly advance their careers.
Let’s take a look at some of those benefits:
1. Career Growth
For maintenance personnel, career growth encompasses the different roles and responsibilities they will take on as they progress in their career. Online courses and certification programs can help to set maintenance staff on the best path career-wise. Making online courses and programs available to maintenance employees equips them with the skills they need to perform in their current and future roles in the field.
A good example is the story of Jayson Pendergrass, who was down on his luck and unable to get a job due to a past criminal record. After completing HVAC maintenance technician training at Remington College, he was able to change that and get a decent job. Pendergrass now looks to the future with hope due to the better prospects and happier life that this job will offer him.
Another example is the story of Brian Archer, who was able to fulfill his aspiration of transitioning from a production job to a more technical one. After completing electromechanical technician training, he fulfilled his wish and is now responsible for technical maintenance rather than focusing on production alone.
2. Better Value in the Workplace
Online courses are a win-win for all parties — for maintenance employees, acquiring new skills and competencies is an opportunity to satisfy their inherent desire to learn and grow. For employers, it can simplify the process of filling vital positions, help to address widening skill gaps and improve worker retention.
Taking certifications and online courses shows the willingness of maintenance workers to invest time and effort in their job and industry. This helps to prove to a current employer that they are committed to their jobs and are willing to stay on top of current industry knowledge and best practices. Those kinds of staff are in an ideal position to face challenges at work and offer innovative solutions to age-old problems.
When their organization needs to fill a position that requires new or specialized skills, management won’t have to go into the labor market to fill those vacant positions. Instead, they can look inward, select staff with those skills, and promote them to fill the position. Employees that continually position themselves this way can find themselves advancing faster at work compared to their untrained peers.
Just like an athlete stays in top form through routine physical training sessions, regularly taking online courses help maintenance personnel show they are in the best shape mentally and professionally.
3) Transformational Value for the Entire Organization
At companies that handle maintenance, success at the organizational level is often a reflection of what individual employees are able to achieve. For example, a maintenance firm with a reputation for well-executed work will typically have many highly efficient and well-trained workers. The reverse is also usually the case.
As a result, maintenance companies should do everything possible to equip and help their workers to operate at peak performance. There are numerous ways that employers can help maintenance employees achieve this: Employers can provide them with strategic training to fill up knowledge gaps or equip them with appropriate solutions, work tools and resources.
Training is important because it helps employees grow their knowledge base and improve their skills. Despite the cost of training maintenance employees, the potential benefits for the entire organization are immense. In particular, employees are better empowered to consistently complete their tasks as expected.
Here’s an example of just how impactful maintenance training can be for an entire organization.
TIP Trailer Services, a company that provides maintenance support to clients across Europe and North America, faced challenges including a disproportionately high level of reactive maintenance, suboptimal maintenance management and wasteful maintenance expenditure that resulted in several operational inefficiencies.
Nevertheless, they were able to turn the situation around and return to an optimal position by investing in training for their maintenance team. After delivering the training, the company was able to increase their direct productivity by 13%, offer a better quality of service to their clients and achieve a more stable work environment overall. TIP Trailer Services achieved this largely because they were able to quickly spot a weakness in their staff’s ability and address it through better training.
4) Unbeatable Convenience
Just like their counterparts in other industries, maintenance workers desire and need a better work-life balance. One of the greatest appeals of online courses is that they offer a more level playing field for non-traditional-students — these are usually more experienced professionals who are going back to study after years away from the classroom. Typically, they’re older and already have work and family responsibilities that keep them busy and limit their availability to attend traditional offline classes. The flexibility that online courses offer is an important benefit for them.
Unlike offline courses, where the quality of teaching can vary depending on the educational provider in question, online courses and certifications offered by reputable institutions and providers tend to have a universal standard no matter where learners log on from.
With flexible online programs, busy maintenance professionals can easily adjust their learning schedule and focus on prioritizing their personal obligations without getting behind in their coursework and assessments.
Any maintenance organization that hopes to keep pace with the industry demands and innovations in maintenance management needs to maximize its greatest asset — its employees. By investing in their maintenance employees, companies can focus on expanding their operations with the confidence that their well-trained staff can handle work execution to the highest standards.