Modern HVAC systems are more technologically sophisticated than ever before, requiring a skilled and highly trained workforce to diagnose and fix faulty heaters or air conditioners. Proper training is a necessity in today’s competitive environment.
Contractor Excellence, a magazine dedicated to news and tips for HVAC professionals, recently published tips for how managers can create the most competitive workforce. Their advice? Invest in training, and it will pay dividends. According to the magazine:
These benefits include fewer callbacks, greater productivity and efficiency, higher profits, more satisfied customers, and increased word-of-mouth referrals. There are also benefits for the technicians, as training makes them feel more confident in their abilities, which leads to greater job satisfaction and less desire to look elsewhere for a job.
‘Knowledge and experience are not the same thing’
The fundamentals of the job are still the same (“hot air is still hot air”), but today’s HVAC equipment requires a new skill set to service — which frankly, most HVAC technicians lack, according to multiple industry experts interviewed by Contractor Excellence. The proliferation of vendors and specialized equipment also adds to the complexity. Smartphones and tablets can help ease the know-how hurdles, but those devices require training as well to get technicians up to speed. This is an especially important consideration with techs fresh out of school where the curriculum might lag behind technology in the field.
For less tech-savvy HVAC and service organizations, online training programs are another way for managers to ensure their employees stay abreast of the latest industry trends. And sometimes the best advice is also the most obvious: make sure your employees read the training manual. It’s also possible to bring in outside firms to conduct employee training on all facets of business — technical and customer relations, including communications. After all, technicians have more customer contact than most other employees and are the “public face of a contracting company.”