What are the qualities of an effective maintenance manager?

An effective maintenance manager needs the following skills:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills – Maintenance managers work with people, and that means being able to communicate instructions and ideas clearly.
  • Problem solving skills – The ability to analyze situations and find effective solutions to problems is key to managing maintenance processes.
  • Time management – Managers of any kind are usually very busy, so they need to be able to prioritize tasks well.
  • Technical expertise – Running preventive maintenance programs, resolving technical issues, and training other personnel all require practical experience and knowledge.
  • Leadership skills – Maintenance managers work primarily with supervisors. They need to be able to motivate them and lead out on important initiatives.
  • Organization – The constant flow of work requests, schedules, meetings, and other demands all mean a maintenance manager needs to be well organized.

These skills represent a mix of hard skills (i.e. technical training) and soft skills (personality traits and interpersonal skills), all of which help maintenance managers fulfill their various duties. For instance, consider the impact the above skills would have on the following tasks:

  • Creating a vision and overarching strategy for the whole maintenance department
  • Keeping daily maintenance activities and operations going
  • Training supervisors
  • Making sure health and safety regulations are being followed
  • Making decisions about which maintenance-related initiatives need to be prioritized
  • Team building
  • Collaborating with top executives to make sure maintenance processes support the company’s goals

Naturally, leadership and technical expertise play significantly into training and team building. Communication and a thorough understanding of the maintenance department are key when collaborating with other company leaders. Making sure everything gets done is heavily reliant on time management.

Now, managers can prove and bolster their skills by seeking out certification. In fact, professional certifications help set highly effective maintenance managers apart from the merely okay ones.

These certifications tend to be industry specific. For instance, apartment maintenance managers can earn the NAHRO Certified Maintenance Manager (CMM) designation if they have enough experience in their field, receive ethics training, and pass an exam.

Along with a resume showcasing their skills, certification can take a maintenance manager to the next level of effectiveness.


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