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A recent Machinery Lubrication survey of lubrication professionals in the United States revealed some interesting trends and also shed light on just who is taking care of our lubricated equipment.
Many of the survey’s respondents reported being employed by well-known and respected companies in industry that have had lubrication personnel certified by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication, with some of the companies being founding members of ICML.
According to the results, professional certification has become a requirement for career and earnings advancement in several cases, which is confirmation of skill-based pay (over seniority) as a trend. Survey respondents holding some type of professional certification reported 10 percent higher salaries than their non-certified peers, were among the most likely to have received a raise in 2011 and also were more likely to serve as a supervisor than those without a certification.
While it was gratifying to see the survey quantify the benefits of certification to ICML members in terms of remuneration, career advancement, supervisory positions and even the number of hours worked per week, it was equally exciting to see the personalities and work ethic of these workers shine through.
Easily noted in the respondents’ comments provided in the survey were their commitment to quality and their desire for recognition of the criticality of their function within their company and industry. Many expressed concerns regarding apathy of peers resistant to change and the lack of management’s awareness of not only the criticality of their role but also the resources needed to deliver high-quality results.
The highlight of the survey may have been in the job satisfaction area, where the responses matched the profile of many ICML members and industry practitioners, demonstrating passion for what they do, being moved by the challenge and not giving up on “the cause” despite such low recognition across industry.
Most characteristic of who these workers are could be seen in their rating of “challenge and stimulation of the job” at the top of the list of reasons for job satisfaction, which was almost three times as high as salary and benefits. Because these individuals are dedicated and proud of their roles, naturally “lack of recognition” was the factor most frequently given for dissatisfaction with their jobs.
What can be learned from this survey is that lubrication professionals should be valued and recognized for the worth they possess and for the direct criticality of their function to the success of operations. These individuals should be empowered with the needed resources, including knowledge through accountability of training followed by certification and fair compensation. The result will be loyal, hard-working, dedicated, in-house experts who value being part of a team more than even the possible monetary rewards.
These are true professionals who take pride and responsibility in the success of their roles. They are machine lovers who are the key to reliability-centered, best-in-class lubrication. These front-line men and women are the walking, talking human factor of reliability. They are where your asset-management journey begins if you run a business heavily dependent on lubricated equipment. They are driven by passion, a love for challenge and a focus on doing things right.
When your company achieves a world-class lubrication program, be sure to give them extra support for recognition by encouraging them to apply for ICML’s John R. Battle Award for Excellence in Machinery Lubrication.
For the complete survey results, visit www.machinerylubrication.com. For more information on the John R. Battle Award and ICML certification credentials, visit www.lubecouncil.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.