The dog days of summer are upon us. The sun is shining and the weather is warm, often leaving most employees daydreaming about quitting time. However, those in the HVAC industry know that during the summer, extreme temperatures means an influx of air conditioning service and repair calls, keeping employees hopping. During this stressful busy season, it’s easy for technicians and office staff alike to become tired and overworked. So, how do contractors keep their employees motivated — with their eyes on the prize, so to speak — during the summer months?
The answer varies depending on who you ask. Many HVAC contractors have come up with creative ways to boost employee engagement. And what better way to make sure your employees focus on doing their best than by offering cash incentives? That’s exactly what Reliable Heating & Air of Kennesaw, Georgia, did when it created a performance-based incentive program where its technicians receive a cash incentive for every five-star review they achieve. Top performers have earned up to $500 per month, which is presented during the company’s monthly technical meetings.
“Not only does this incentive program benefit the technicians because of the financial reward, it benefits our customers because our technicians are trying to provide a five-star experience every time,” Steve Hallock, Reliable’s chief information officer, told The NEWS. “And, it ultimately benefits the business overall, because there’s nothing more powerful in terms of marketing than one-on-one engagements. Getting our customers to share their positive experiences with their friends, families, and neighbors is very powerful marketing for us.”
Simply recognizing and appreciating employees is another great way to encourage motivation and engagement. Hamstra Heating and Cooling in Tucson, Arizona, has a shaded courtyard in its new facility where every employee that reaches the 20 year milestone with the company receives a paving stone engraved with his or her name. Hamstra calls it the ‘Courtyard of Honor.’ The company also honors employees reaching 10 years of service with a portrait on the wall and honors one employee each year with its True Professional Award — its version of employee of the year.
“Employee recognition is critical,” said Wade Hamstra, vice president of the company. “You really need to focus on the positive things and recognize the good they are doing instead of just interacting with them when you’re correcting them on things they can do better.”
Summer events can help break up the monotony of the work week. Jackson & Blanc in San Diego hosts regular lunches for employees at the local In-N-Out Burger. The company also selects an employee of the month who is given a paid day off in recognition of his or her efforts. While Logan AC & Heat Services Inc. in Dayton, Ohio, hosts Contagious Days with different themes, such as Cincinnati Reds day where employees wear their baseball gear, play trivia games to earn prizes, and enjoy grilled hot dogs and brats. Aire Serv of Bull Run, Virginia, hosts regular team-building events and took its employees zip-lining in 2015.
Even The NEWS is jumping on board. Our esteemed editor-in-chief, Kyle Gargaro, will be hosting the second annual NEWS BBQ in just a few weeks. We, of course, have promised to be on our best behavior.
So, take a look around your office right now. Notice any glazed eyes or slack expressions? It’s not too late to get your employees fired up and motivated. Create a contest and cultivate some friendly competition or organize a summery-themed potluck. Remember, happy employees create happy customers.
Publication date: 8/8/2016