10 Tips to Help You Retain Equipment Operators

You know how hard it can be to find good employees who work hard and care about the job. So when you’ve got the right crew, you want them to stick around. But retaining your best employees isn’t just a matter of offering more money — there are other important things you should remember to keep your operators happy to be part of your team.

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

By investing in your employees, you’re keeping your fleet productive and ultimately saving yourself the costly time to train newcomers. And you’re also preventing your Cat® equipment operators from jumping to another job after you’ve trained them. Here are 10 tips that can help you keep your operators satisfied and retain your employees.

  1. Develop talent. Keep an eye on employees who lead and have a skill for training or supervising others. You'll want to boost and cultivate these employees. Give them additional responsibilities and, when the time is right, opportunities to supervise others.

  2. Communicate frequently. Don’t take your employees for granted. They are people with lives outside of work. Ask about their families and hobbies. And if they have suggestions about improving your processes and procedures, encourage their input.

  3. Show your gratitude. Thank your employees for their efforts. Let them know how pleased you are with their work. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.

  4. Learn to delegate more. Give your key employees more authority and responsibility. This will help you identify who’s fit to supervise others, perhaps on a scale large enough to take on more work and increase your profitability.

  5. Provide direction and feedback. Make sure your operators know their individual roles, what’s expected of them and how you will evaluate their performance. As they work, give them feedback that will help them improve. As you do this, you’ll come to identify employees who are ready for increased responsibilities.

  6. Offer educational opportunities. Help your employees find opportunities to grow. Offer professional development and training sessions. If you have employees who speak other languages and have a desire to learn English, consider providing tuition assistance.

  7. Appeal to younger workers with technology-related jobs. Your younger employees may have interesting ideas about using technology on your worksite. Ask the more tech-savvy among your employees for their contributions. Perhaps by looking at your production data or fuel consumption and idle time, they can figure out ways to use tech to cut your costs.

  8. Offer competitive wages. Compensate your employees for the hard work they do. Avoid only hiring entry-level employees. You don’t want your company to only be known as a training ground for your competitors.

  9. But offer more than just money. It’s important to pay your operators well. But studies show that more frequently, people choose to leave their jobs over things other than money, like poor working conditions or poor treatment from their managers. Create a positive work environment. Help your employees strike a good balance between work and home life, perhaps by offering flex hours.

  10. And be honest. Once you lose credibility, it's extremely difficult to get it back. Deliver on your promises. Keep your word. And be straightforward with your employees about things that affect them immediately, like their job description and workload.

Take some time now to refine your tactics and retain those good employees.


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