Trying to implement a reliability-centered maintenance program in any facility is hard work. Facility managers may think that it’s because of the upfront investment in tools and technology, but the real challenge is changing the people. Creating a reliability-centered mindset is much more difficult than changing the technology or the equipment. It requires an understanding of the implicit structure changes needed, and the trust within your team to make the pivot in a new direction.
Many company cultures are based on survival. This is especially true in small teams where every person is directly impacting the bottom line. When resources are scarce and you’re fighting your way into an industry, it is hard to pull your team out of the survival mindset. Many of them show up, try their best to get through the day, and mentally check out as soon as the day ends.
In order to shift from the survival mindset (centered upon reactive maintenance) to the reliability mindset, you must set up certain expectations with your team:
- Everybody understands the vision of the department and its role within the greater organization
- Everybody aligns their daily tasks with that vision because they truly believe in it
- As individuals and as a team, the maintenance technicians see themselves as actors of change rather than reactors to disaster
- Leadership is holistic rather than linear; both the janitor and the facility manager have the same level of commitment to their role and accept responsibility for their work to the best of their ability.
People are much more inclined to keep the status quo than to change it. Some will be more willing than others, but it will be impossible to change minds if you don’t carefully articulate the purpose of reliability-centered maintenance to every member of the maintenance team. They must first understand the goal from its highest purpose (the company’s overall goals and mission) and then to its highest resolution (daily tasks and objectives) in order to achieve the right mindset.
It is also important to empower every member of the maintenance team by giving them as much personal responsibility as possible. Everybody within your organization should be a leader — they should be able to self-direct their daily tasks and meet objectives without the need for micromanagement. As the facility manager, you’ll then be able to focus on the big picture and course-correct only when team members are lost or mistaken.
By implementing these changes in mindset, your facility can adopt the reliability-centered maintenance program that will actually cut costs and improve facility performance. MaintenX works using these principles within our contractor network, and therefore are able to provide you with the best maintenance service possible every day. To learn more about our preventative maintenance programs and services, contact us!