Maintenance Management: Be Both Demanding and Kind

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By Katie Torres

You've probably been here: maintenance management can be a struggle. 

The balance in getting vendors to do what we need them to do while still maintaining a positive attitude is not always as easy as we'd like it to be.

When our maintenance department just isn't getting it right, the natural thing to do is to demand better.

Being demanding is a good thing. It causes change and pushes people to grow. But it has to be leveled with kindness.

We're (only) demanding because...

We worry about how we're going to get all the work done well and on time.

We stress about the constant repairs and the money that's being spent unnecessarily.

We wish we had more time to get the important things done but we're too busy chasing fires to get to what we care about most.

So sometimes, we get the demanding part down...but not necessarily the kind part.

β€œIt is possible to be both demanding and kind. My best mentors/leaders have employed both of these characteristics at the same time.”

~ Scott Reyes, CEO at EnvoyFM

It is easier to demand that things get done in the way we want them to when we are stressing over the fact that they're not being done.

And remember...being demanding is not a bad thing.

But what happens when we're also kind?

When we look at the problems within our maintenance departments as opportunities to serve, grow, and help people, we can be kind.

We can start looking at the people on the other side of the work orders as people who we can help.

Managing vendors can go from being a point of frustration to an opportunity to build relationship and make things better.

Instead of saying to a vendor, "get here in four hours or we'll find someone else", we say, "hey man, I need you here in four hours...how can we make that happen?"

When we are both demanding and kind, the work gets done. And the people we work with are happier as a result.

Being demanding and kind causes our FM departments to grow and provides us with the opportunity to keep serving others.

It makes things better. It's what we like to call being irrationally helpful.