The Top 5 New Years Resolutions for Parks & Recreation Maintenance Departments

The Top 5 New Years Resolutions for Parks & Recreation Maintenance Departments

We all want to see better things for the new year. If you’re managing a maintenance crew, you’re probably investigating options that will improve workflow this year.

Let’s face it, the last couple of years have been difficult--we’ve been thrown into unknown territory and did the best we could to manage despite the uncertainty.
We might not be completely done with the challenges of the pandemic, but we’ve learned a lot. We adapted. And we’re looking toward the future with optimism.
What are some resolutions to consider setting for you and your team? Working with several parks & recreation departments, here are some common themes we noticed…

Organizing the Shop

A well-organized shop allows a crew to work more efficiently. Plus, once a shop is organized, the team is more willing to ensure everything gets put into its right place moving forward.
Get your shop in order by organizing:

  • Manufacturer's maintenance and equipment manuals
  • Technical drawings and diagrams for each building’s structural, electrical, and mechanical systems
  • Preventative maintenance records
  • Supplies & materials
  • Tools & equipment

Once an organizational system is in place for each of these areas, your team will know exactly where to find the resources to complete a project.

Scheduling Preventive Maintenance Tasks

Now that all the equipment manuals are stored in a way that makes sense, it’s time to look through those manuals and make sure all the preventative maintenance is scheduled.
After all, equipment failure throws off the workflow. Preventative maintenance reduces the risk of this happening.
Categorize and schedule by weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks. Assign a specific individual or crew to each of the tasks. Then set up a recording system to ensure each task is completed.   

Reorganizing Your Crews

The pandemic dramatically changed the workforce. As a result, you’ve probably dealt with a lot of turnover and shifting roles. You may have assigned crews based on immediate necessity instead of determining the best fit.
Evaluate the crews you have in place. How could you pair more productive crew members with those that need additional guidance? Are there individuals you think will be great leaders when seasonal help gets hired?
Take a little time to understand your crew and determine where each individual’s skillsets will benefit the overall workflow.

Updating Policies, Procedures & Standards

The pandemic probably changed how you approach some tasks. Some changes may be temporary and others may be permanent solutions.
Updating policy manuals allows everyone to know what is expected. Schedule a training session so your crew understands these changes. Also, modify orientation training so new hires can seamlessly fit into your crew.   

Communicating Better

Parks & recreation departments have a lot of moving parts. And, well, sometimes those parts aren’t moving in the same direction. Poor communication causes a breakdown in workflow and makes a department appear unprofessional.
Every department communicates a little differently. Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your current communication system. Do important emails get missed? Is there an effective way to alert all interested parties when the unexpected happens? How is your crew communicating when they notice issues?

Adding Some New “Toys” to the Arsenal

You know the feeling…Trying out new equipment or getting behind the wheel of a vehicle for the first time. It’s kind of like being a kid at Christmas.
Take inventory of the equipment you have and determine what should be replaced this year. Is there something new your department needs that will make this year's tasks flow a bit easier?
Consider how emerging technology can help modernize the systems you have in place. There are a lot of great tech “toys”--both equipment and software--available. How can you envision it improving the efficiency of your department? 

Want the Resolutions to Stick? 

There’s a reason why so many people turn to apps or fitness trackers when they are dedicated to change. Your progress is documented, you see the results, and want to build on them.
Maintenance management software is an excellent opportunity to address the resolutions mentioned above…and more.
Software provides a centralized location for interdepartmental communication and quick scheduling (or rescheduling) of tasks and crew. Your team also has instant access to inventory, digital equipment manuals, and policies & procedures documents.
When the software is configured to your department’s specific needs, you can easily create, evaluate, and troubleshoot any desired improvements throughout the year.