SECTION 5 OF 6
Your Most Important Investment
The most important investment the owner of a contracting company can make is in people.
When developing a training program, leaders make it a top priority. WIth a shortage of technicians, the best contractors are being proactive and implementing in-house training programs to build their own techs.
Budget: To start a training program, you must begin by being intentional and have a budget for it. Budget 1 to 2 percent of total revenue or 3 to 5 percent of an individual's compensation package toward training.
Training Calendar: Create a year-long training calendar that coincides with your needs of the business.
Types of Training: Your training program should consist of addressing the following areas:
Technical skills training
Sales and customer service training
2 optional but highly recommended areas are leadership and life skills training
Alignment with goals: A key point for putting together a training plan is to consider the top company goals and create alignment. For example, if the top goal involves revenue, spend more time and effort on training for top revenue producing items. Creating alignment brings more return on investment.
Make training measurable: What is measured and recognized tends to improve and be repeated. Identify the ultimate goal for each training and measure and recognize the improvements. You’ll find they will get repeated, and that the training added value.
Assessments: There are numerous assessment tools to help identify each individual's strengths and weaknesses. Having an assessment targets areas that build on strengths and improve weaknesses. The assessment creates a path for progress.
Involvement: One of the best ways to get buy-in for training is to involve those on your team. Many contractors will rotate having team members present on a training topic. When someone has to teach something, they put more effort into learning it, and they own the process. Some other suggestions to involve in your training program:
Outside industry trainers
Local business professionals
Online virtual training
Cross department trainers
Training Rooms: Here are a few best practices for setting up a training room:
Space: Don’t set up for what is needed today, build for what will be needed in the future. Leave room for activities and role playing.
Sound: Consider the noise level and how it affects adjacent areas.
Climate: Room temperature is a key element in the effectiveness of any training program. Being too hot or too cold increases the mind’s inability to focus. Given the wide range of individual preferences, what’s considered “just right” for one person might be too hot for another. Locate the thermostat and/or HVAC controls inside the training space itself, so heating and cooling functions can be manually adjusted as needs arise. Set up the schedule to pre-cool or pre-heat before the event starts.
Branding: A training room should display company pride. The best contractors are using training rooms to reinforce the brand image, the mission, vision and core values. It can also be a place that wows new recruits. Prodigy Plumbing Inc. took this advice and created a perfect example. https://www.facebook.com/gotimesuccessgroup/videos/324402988186958/
Lab: Having an in-house training lab is a significant competitive advantage.