Get Active to Alleviate Tech Shortage

I enjoyed and appreciated [Peter Powell’s] article, “The Technician Shortage and One Person’s Solution” [page 19] in the July 3 issue ofThe News. I am new to the hvac industry, and find that not enough people in this business are seriously addressing the problem, but instead, are walking around wringing their hands in despair. You’ve passed along a great idea from Ron Collier on how we can — and should — get involved to alleviate this plight.

John Allen

Training Manager

Amana Heating & Air Conditioning

Fayetteville, TN

Create a future for your employees

In answer to the question, why do techs leave companies?

In 30 years of hvac, I have moved about 12 times. The primary reason for the first 15 years was a combination of wages and opportunity. The last 15 years, opportunity was my main motivation for shifting.

Opportunity to excel at something and get paid a competitive wage is opportunity enough for the time it takes to learn an aspect of hvac (like refrigeration or residential or light commercial). After that, it gets boring, at least boring enough that greener pastures start appearing on the horizon.

My last eight years have been spent developing and managing service departments. Besides all the costing and structural aspects of management, I consider employee relations a very large part of what I do. The experiences I have had prepared me for not only hiring good people, but also keeping good people.

Pay a competitive wage with incentives for increased production, talk to your techs and find out what lights their fire, put together a benefits package that addresses the future, and find training classes.

The part about training is important. Training benefits everyone, no question about it — training that benefits the tech more than the company, that is of value to the tech. Helping someone to invest in their future can get you an employee for life and even if they choose to leave to take advantage of that training, you will benefit through referrals and word of mouth.

Create a future for your employees, show how they will continue to grow if they stay, and be passionate about company goals. Passionate, dedicated, trained, and motivated, could you ask for more? And why would you leave?

Mark Kelsch

Service Manager

Sound Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

Tacoma, WA