February 22, 2024 5 min read

Maintenance Technician Training & Onboarding to Upskill Your Workforce


Facilities Management


Learning & DevelopmentOnline Training

Employee retention, closing skills gaps, and cross-training for effective succession planning are top of mind for many facilities maintenance companies. With 51% of FM workers wanting to quit their jobs, these issues simply cannot be ignored. Luckily, investing in maintenance technician training that focuses on role-specific skills and career development can help you onboard faster, improve productivity, and even reduce employee turnover.

What Training Do Maintenance Technicians Need?

Building and facilities maintenance employees need a wide range of training to thrive in their careers. Naturally, they need training to help them perform their job responsibilities safely, but they also need development opportunities and training plans that support their career goals.

A comprehensive training plan for maintenance techs should include:

1. Role-Specific Maintenance Technician Training

FM technicians need in-depth training on a variety of key maintenance and management topics, including accredited content to maintain industry credentials and licenses. This includes:

  • Building codes and standards
  • Commercial facilities maintenance
  • Electrical and mechanical engineering and maintenance
  • Sustainability best practices (including LEED)
  • Instrumentation and controls

2. Safey and Compliance Training

Building and facility maintenance can be dangerous. Employees need comprehensive health and safety training to keep themselves and their tenants safe. This includes:

  • OSHA 10-Hour Training
  • Electrical Safety and Arc Flash
  • Lockout Tagout
  • Fire Safety
  • Hazard Communication
  • Equipment Safety
  • Fall Protection
  • Safety Management
  • And much more!

3. Career Development Training

Last, maintenance technicians need to be trained in key topics like project management and professional development to grow in their careers. This might include:

  • Financial management
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership and coaching
  • Time management
  • Risk management
  • Contracts
  • Budgets
  • And more.

If you want to provide all this training and invest in your people, but aren’t sure where to start, check out our free learning path template for facilities maintenance professionals below.

Facilities Maintenance Training Plan Guide

This user-friendly learning path template takes the guesswork out of designing your training program by providing pre-selected courses from Vector’s extensive training catalog, Facilities Management, and Maintenance Library.

Download Guide

Benefits of Online Maintenance Technician Training

Providing effective, efficient onboarding training to new hires (and current employees moving into new roles) is one of the most impactful training investments an organization can make. A well-designed onboarding program builds knowledge and skills employees need to be successful in their role.

A well-designed onboarding program helps employees feel more supported. This often means they will be more likely to be satisfied with and engaged on the job. Engaged and satisfied workers are far less likely to quit, preventing costly churn.

Success Story: Preventing Churn with Training

One of Vector Solutions’ clients—a major global facilities management firm—was struggling to hire and retain qualified technicians. 60 percent of their new hires would quit within their first year of work, leading to roughly $2 million in employee churn.

They chose to invest in online training, assessments, and a learning management system (LMS) to improve their onboarding training program.

Just one year after making the change, they had cut new hire turnover from 60 to 20 percent.

If you’d like to learn how this FM company made such an incredible turn-around, watch this webinar for tips on developing a maintenance tech training program.

Facilities Maintenance Online Training Guide

Select the right online facilities maintenance training solutions for your organization, including online courses, learning management systems, and providers

Download Guide

5 Tips for More Effective Facilities Maintenance Onboarding

Following these five simple tips will help you develop and deliver an onboarding program so your FM organization will see better results.

1. Partner with Other Departments

Create partnerships with other departments and the people in them to help develop and deliver your onboarding program(s). At minimum, consider working with and getting the participation of HR, learning and development, corporate management, safety, security, environmental, and IT.

Onboarding new hires is an all-hands-on-deck proposition. Building a team with these departments and more will make it much easier to develop your onboarding program but will also ensure that your program is more effective and leads to desired learning and performance outcomes.

2. Provide General & Job-Specific Components

We recommend including general information and job-specific training in your onboarding program.

General company onboarding should include:

  • Introducing employees to your organization
  • Explaining your industry
  • Sharing what makes your organization and brand unique
  • Discussing mission, values, principles, and organizational culture
  • Reviewing general safety, security, and IT issues that are relevant for all employees
  • Setting up a lunch so the new employees can get to know one another better

During the job-specific component focus in on what the new employee needs to know and do for their actual job:

  • Set up expectations and plans for recurrent meetings with the employee and the manager
  • Partner the new hire with a colleague or mentor
  • Consider an on-the-job (OJT) program for employees
  • Develop additional learning activities you’ll provide to the worker over time.

3. Spread Out Onboarding Over Time

Two common mistakes with onboarding programs are:

  1. Compressing them into too little time and
  2. “Fire hosing” the new employee with too much information too quickly

Don’t think of onboarding as something that occurs in a few days or a few weeks. Instead, think of onboarding as a program that may take as much as a year and will then feed workers into continual upskilling or even continuing education learning activities.

4. Use a Blend of Online & “Offline” Learning

Studies show that training programs using a “mix” or “blend” of learning delivery styles (such as face-to-face and online training) result in better learning and performance results than do learning programs that use only face-to-face or only online. See our Guide to Blended Learning Solutions for more on this.

Create a well-designed blend of learning activities that includes written materials or videos, hands-on OJT training, classroom-style instructor-led training, online training, and more.

For the online training, consider using the 3D-animated facilities maintenance training library offered by Vector Solutions.

5. Use a Learning Management System (LMS)

A learning management system (LMS) is a cloud-based software application that automates many training management and administration tasks.

Your organization can use an LMS to help implement your onboarding program, including the parts that occur online as well as those that occur offline. This includes:

  • Training import and creation
  • Knowledge and skill checks/assessments
  • Assigning training
  • Training delivery
  • Managing due dates, training expiration dates, and training recurrence needs
  • Credit and tracking training completion
  • Reporting
  • Notification
  • Mobile learning
  • Performance support

Using a learning management system will make it easier for you to manage your onboarding, deliver it, and even personalize it for each worker.

Supercharge Maintenance Technician Training & Onboarding

Maximize retention by developing employee skills and offering them support at every stage of their career with you—from their first days on the job to their continued development. If you’d like to talk with us more to see how we can help you with your training and continuing education programs, request a demo today.

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