Every HVACR company wants a stronger team — a tight-knit culture of high-performing A-players who can show up at a customer’s house and confidently handle any situation.
You probably want that for your company too, but maybe your first thought (like many other HVACR business owners) is to say, “I want a team that does that… but how do I afford to pay those superstars?”
Some business owners feel like their payroll budget doesn’t allow them to hire the top guns, so the logical conclusion is, “my business has to settle for the employees I can afford, even if they are not the best.”
That’s a shame because that’s wrong thinking.
Here’s the secret that most HVACR business owners don’t realize: you can mold a team of superstars out of employees who don’t appear to be A-players today. It starts with training.
The truth is, most business owners think they provide enough training, but they don’t. They provide just enough training to keep their team members up to date in licensing requirements and technology, but that’s it. Worse yet, some owners hold back on training because they don’t want to spend all that money to train an employee only to have that well-trained employee move to a different company.
If you want your company to grow, training is a powerful solution to create a powerful team that can transform your business into a powerful, growing company.
ADOPT A “TRAIN EVERYONE CONSTANTLY” MENTALITY
The key to getting started is to adopt a “train everyone constantly” mentality in your approach to leading your company. Start by learning new things yourself, and demonstrate the power and opportunity that comes with learning.
Make training and the thirst for knowledge a central part of your company’s DNA. You’ll start attracting employees who want to learn because they see you as a place that will feed their desire to improve. (Hint: employees who want to learn are amazing employees to have on your team.)
Will you train people who may eventually move on to other companies? Yes, you might. So you’ll need to build a strong culture that they’ll want to stay at. And, if you build your company culture correctly — as a leading learning organization — then the best employees who love to learn will prefer to stay with you.
CROSS-TRAIN IN A BIG WAY
Cross-train your team. All of them. In multiple areas.
Often in the HVACR world, cross-training can mean training your HVAC employees on refrigeration; or maybe you have electricians on your team who you’ll also train as plumbers. But cross-training is bigger than that — train your HVAC employees on refrigeration, yes, but also train them in sales, in service, in marketing, in management, and in leadership. And your office team? Train your accounting team in marketing, and your marketing team in bookkeeping. Sure, you won’t be sending your marketing team to crunch numbers or do your corporate taxes, but when employees have a fuller understanding of how the company works, everyone can better understand how their own work operates within the larger system, and they can pitch in competently when needed.
BUILD A MENTORING PROGRAM
Training isn’t just a formal process, either. You should build a mentoring program in your company that pairs more seasoned employees with newer employees. This ensures that accumulated knowledge gets shared among the people who can really use it.
When building a mentoring program, treat it as a reward — something that only the best employees earn — the right to mentor or be mentored. That way, you’ll get wider adoption faster than if you simply start assigning employees randomly.
TRAINING MAKES YOUR JOB EASIER
Training is not just about you getting in front of your employees to instruct them on something. Create a simple training portal — even using something simple like Google Docs — to store documents and videos for future reference. That way, you don’t have to repeat yourself each time, and you empower your team to help create and improve the training over time.
Training isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. You also need a strong culture, and you need to lead with power. By turning the idea of training from a “you-do-it” chore into an “everyone-gets-to-do-it” privilege (and part of your company’s DNA) you build a company that attracts better employees who want to learn and grow. Training is a key component to mold your employees into a high-performing team of superstars. It’s so easy to implement, why not take the first baby steps today by setting up a knowledgebase to store training materials, and stepping up to lead by example by investing time in your own training?
Publication date: 10/23/201