According to author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek, “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” Sinek writes quite a bit about this and is a strong believer that engaging with employees is vital for long-term success of a business.

This is a generic HVAC truism, but even more vital for companies that want to move toward a high-performance approach or are already in process.

Why? Because change is hard. Focusing on the testing and measuring, diagnosing and resolving airflow issues can be very different from the everyday approach to HVAC service.

Interestingly, the best way to engage with your team is to answer the question, ‘why?’ Sinek says communicating ‘why’ taps into the part of the listener’s brain that influences behavior.

Why the Five “C”s?

The ‘why’ of things involves clear communication between you and your managers. It also means clear communications between managers and the team and the team and your customers.

Engagement also involves something that experts call “The Five C’s.” These are:

  • Care
  • Connect
  • Coach
  • Contribute
  • Congratulate.

This is all about helping employees to be enthusiastic about their jobs. It’s also about them being proud of the work they do, and excited to contribute to customer well-being and company success.


Be genuine. Show employees that they’re part of a team. Demonstrate why things like testing and measuring are so important to THEIR success as high-performance field technicians. Listen to what they have to say and let them be part of the process, not just cogs in a machine. They will realize the company isn’t only focused on profits or marketshare.


Have regular informal chats, reviews, and goal setting check ups. Find out whether team members are happy in their work.


Actively coaching your team members means guiding, training, and listening to them. It does not mean barking orders or micromanaging. This helps employees feel useful and creates an environment where they want to contribute even more.


Encourage your people to share ideas, suggestions, and other feedback. By listening to them and following up with them, they feel like they are part of the company’s success. That builds pride and a desire to do more.

Congratulate: Celebrate successes with your team. Show proof that they are helping customers reduce energy use, increase comfort, and more because of the processes and tools they use. Praising them in front of their peers is the secret sauce here. This builds confidence and can be the reason that others strive harder to succeed as well.

Experts, like Sinek, say that by following these simple steps to employee engagement, you set your company on a path of improved employee relations and general workplace happiness.

That, by itself, can be the foundation on which your high-performance HVAC approach can build, grow, and set you apart from competitors.