Every year, a major publication in the HVACR industry conducts a contest to find the best service contractor in a variety of categories, ranging from small, to medium, to large size companies. And every year, when the winner, along with a runner-up and others that receive honorable mention, is announced, the individual profile of each company is detailed. As you would expect, reading those profiles lists a wide range of reasons why each of these HVACR employer excel in their category, yet no two contractors are exactly alike in these descriptions that detail the variety creative ideas each of them have to make their company successful. However, there is one common thread that ties all of these quality contractors together each and every year in this contest….they all have a consistent and proactive in-house training program.
Do HVACR technicians want (and need) a living wage? Of course they do.
Do HVACR technicians feel good about the fact that the company they work for offers benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations and holiday pay in addition to the aforementioned living wage? Of course they do.
Do HVACR technicians absolutely love the idea that they work for a company that gives them an opportunity to learn, grow and develop as a professional in their chosen craft? Of course they do.
The point of the three questions above, and the exact same answer for each of them, is that all of these three elements are part and parcel of hiring and retaining someone, and getting the best performance from them that they are capable of achieving. If an employer concentrates only on the first two, thinking that they’re going above and beyond and ‘treating their employees well’, they often wind up shaking their heads when a technician informs them that they are leaving for a job with another company.
I’ve heard it expressed this way…..”He left me for a lousy 25-cents and hour.”
No he didn’t. He left because an hourly wage, vacation time, and paid holidays are only two parts of the complete three-part package.
One way to look at this is an understanding that there is a difference between an leader and a manager. A leader is someone who does all the necessary things that need to be done in order to bring out the best in people. A manager is someone who protects the company assets by keeping a close watch on incoming revenue and outgoing expenses to ensure that a business is profitable. Of course, part of our responsibility as an employer is to manage. It’s also our responsibility to lead.
An effective in-house training program that offers regularly scheduled sessions on any subject pertinent to a technician’s development (technical, soft skills, self-management skills, etc..) ‘on the clock’ is a key element to leadership. No doubt this takes time, requires a lot of work, and requires a financial investment.
But it’s always worth it.
Until next week…..
Learn from yesterday….Live for today….Look forward to tomorrow