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As a trainer and someone who has been a professional educator, I am asked numerous times what a training culture should look like in a progressive PHC company. At its most basic, a company with a training culture is a work environment that provides scheduled time and resources for your employees to train, provide learning enrichment and upskill to new and higher-level skill sets.
While growth is a given priority for any business, what may be less understood is that a training culture within a company will be directly proportional to the company’s growth.
PHC companies that take training and professional development seriously will be more successful and grow faster than companies that choose not to.
This is primarily because employees will feel more confident in their approach to doing a task, which, in turn, increases their productivity and efficiency.
A training culture will also assist in other challenging areas such as recruiting, vetting, turnover and callbacks.
The outward appearance of the company to consumers and prospective new employees looks better as the company is perceived as having fewer mistakes and callbacks and providing higher-quality work.
Ultimately, the business owner is required to do or delegate these responsibilities to have a training culture in a company. In today’s fast-paced business world, true success and growth will only be obtained when you implement and maintain what I share with you in this article.
Along the way, however, there are likely to be a few common objections to creating a training culture.
• “I don’t have the shop space, funds, or the staff to build and run a training center.”
The good news is you do not have to! At a fraction of the cost of building, staffing, and maintaining a brick-and-mortar training center, desktop and VR software is very affordable.
If this type of web-based training is implemented correctly, the results are overwhelmingly positive. Be mindful and do your homework before you purchase desktop and VR training software. The training environment must be engaging to the learner or this will fail. There is nothing worse than your techs giving up due to boredom in a training program.
• “I don’t have the time to implement training.”
At first, the implementation can be challenging. Again, if you decide to go the online route, do your homework and confirm the offer implementation, trainee tracking, or a dashboard that the administrator has access to and ongoing customer service.
One thing I see in the industry is contractors buy some type of online training, and then it sits on the shelf. Obviously, the company will not experience the effect of training or developing a training culture if this is what happens. Someone needs to be responsible to implement and hold employees accountable for the completion of the assigned training.
Most companies that offer VR, desktop and online technical training software also offer implementation and customer service to help overcome implementation matters.
• “I am not going to train my employees because they will leave and work for someone else.”
Well, this is true. I will not argue with anyone that employees can leave at any time. However, when you have a training culture and you are proving to your employees that they are more than just a number and you care about their professional development and career trajectory, you will have less turnover.
When employees leave a company with a sound training culture, a high percentage may return as they realize just how good it was at your company. What do you have to lose? Take some time to investigate training and the progressive PHC contractors who are already doing this.
Ken Midgett serves as the plumbing market director at Interplay Learning. He has been in the plumbing and heating industry for over 40 years and has worked in every facet of the industry. Ken has owned two successful PHC businesses, is a licensed master plumber and is a two-time national award-winning educator in plumbing and heating CTE classrooms.