If you want to be a successful maintenance manager, then you need to focus on developing some specific soft skills. Hard skills are still important to succeed in the metals industry, but your people skills are more important now than ever because they help you to coexist in the workplace and be an effective leader. In case you’re wondering what soft skills every maintenance manager needs to be successful, we’ve narrowed it down to this list based on feedback from real employees.

  1. Be a strong communicator – Maintenance managers tend to play the middlemen between business owners and frontline workers. Therefore, it is crucial to provide employees with directions that are clear and concise. Empathetic listening is a skill that most successful managers usually have in common.
  2. Be a good time manager – From onboarding to project kickoff meetings, supervisors in the metals industry have to juggle between multiple tasks. Time management is about learning to work smarter instead of harder, whether it’s through delegating certain tasks to other team members, or prioritizing project duties.
  3. Be an inclusive maintenance manager – The best candidates want to work in positive environments where they feel accepted regardless of gender, race, background, etc. Once again, creating an inclusive culture all comes down to leading with empathy and compassion. Then, remember that team members have different work ethics, too. First, you have to recognize their respective strengths to achieve maximum results and refer them to the right training opportunities.
  4. Be a great problem solver – Supervising staff and creating timelines is a lot easier for managers that excel at problem solving. Try some of these brain training exercises to become even better at solving unpredictable issues that come up: completing logic puzzles, getting more sleep, idea journaling, doing yoga, mind mapping, and listening to music.
  5. Be a flexible leader – As working situations continue to change on a daily basis, supervisors have to be ready to adapt while maintaining their composure. It can be challenging to stay productive during times of uncertainty. But flexible leaders are more agile and embrace change. First, increase situational awareness by receiving and sharing accurate information from the top down. Next, embrace systems thinking by considering how one change can influence another part of the organization. Finally, lead by example; and always maintain focus.

Poor management is one of the most common reasons why top talent look for other opportunities. Use these tips to become a better maintenance manager today, and retain your best employees.

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