The busy summer season, especially this year’s extreme heat, is when most HVAC contractors run their teams ragged and make the bulk of their annual revenues. Often businesses bring on extra people to help cover the increased workload, extended hours, and people get very close to burning out.
So how do you recharge your team as the busy season slows down? At Minnicks Inc., early fall is when our schedule loosens up and we have time to prepare for the winter season. We don’t get busy again until January, which is why scheduling vacations for our team is essential. Time off is a big part of recharging people from the summer grind.
But vacations aren’t enough. Fall is the time to get our training, marketing, and planning back on track.
The Power of Training
Each fall, we put together a training schedule. We know where each of our techs are regarding the classes and certifications they are working on. We know what they need to work on, and frequently the techs come to me to let me know if there’s something they want to concentrate on. Of course, if that fits in with what we need them to learn, then we’ll also work that out.
The power of training to rejuvenate the team is fantastic, especially after the go-go-go time of summer.
But that doesn’t just happen. It takes planning. I’m the in-house trainer for our company. I handle all the scheduling and often teach the classes. We cover static pressure testing, electrical diagramming, duct renovation, CO testing, etc. I’ve been through all that training with National Comfort Institute (NCI), and then I use those skills and knowledge to train our team.
We have all the materials needed to help our team understand the why behind all of it first. If they don’t know why we want them to perform static pressure testing and everything else, they won’t do what we want most of the time.
That includes understanding the why behind all our processes and procedures. Then we make sure everyone follows those processes and procedures. Very importantly, we capture everything we do in our operations manual.
Make Training Your Own
Why do I do this myself? The answer is simple. Our technicians work hard every day starting at 5 AM. In all good conscience, I cannot send them to training sessions in the evening. For example, in the Maryland area where we operate, we have an apprenticeship program for technicians that helps them earn their journeyman license in four years.
Apprenticeship schooling is available through our local ACCA chapters, where techs take classes two nights a week, roughly from 6:00 to 10 pm.
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