You may have read my colleague Gresham Ard’s blog post, “Training: Where to Start?” If you haven’t, start there, like the title says! Once you’re familiar with the foundations of great training, here are three more things to do that will help boost the effectiveness of your training sessions:
- Spruce up the environment — In the HVAC industry, we tend to use our training spaces for many other things and leave remnants of these other things behind. This could be the case of brochures that a vendor left for your techs a month ago or that rusty old piece of equipment that you used in technical training last week. Take the time to look at the space you use for trainings, and invest in improving it. It will make all the difference for technician focus and morale. A designated, clutter-free space for training helps send the message, “I’m investing in you.”
- Have an opener — If your training meetings are falling flat, it could be because you don’t have a strong opener. You need to engage your technicians from the very beginning of the meeting. Like a late-night TV show, you have to command attention. Otherwise, viewers are channel surfing or going to bed. Your techs can’t exactly do that, but what they can do is check out completely. Revisit your opener. Would it make you interested?
- Create reverence for the meeting. This won’t happen right away, but it takes dedication on your part. To create reverence for the meeting, you have to start and stop the meetings on time, and you have to consistently hold the meetings. This is about setting expectations for mutual respect within the room. If you often cancel meetings because you get too busy, you’re sending the message that the meetings aren’t that important. It’s also unacceptable when technicians don’t arrive on time or don’t show up. Address this privately after the meeting. Again, it’s about mutual respect and reverence for the training meeting.
Training is a substantial investment, but if you do it right, it remains an investment rather than a cost. Try some of the above tips to improve training and get better retention for your content!
Publication date: 9/27/2017