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In paid and voluntary training scenarios, one of the challenges I consistently hear from contractors is techs don’t want to invest in training, their career path or professional development. This column outlines the steps to effectively implement the top six best practices and methods for improving your in-house technical training program.
One of the most impactful decisions you can make is to sit down with each tech and have a detailed discussion, which you take notes from. In your discovery conversations, find out answers to these topics:
Why do they come to work every day? Why work for your company?
What are their career goals? How can you provide the trajectory to create a path to obtain them?
What are their personal and financial goals in dollars or items?
What is a realistic time to accomplish and obtain those goals?
How can you align their career laddering goals to match the income necessary to reach those personal goals?
The second crucial aspect of successful training involves a skilled trainer and online and simulation software. In-person training benefits upskilling and advanced instruction, ensuring specific or manufacturing training is effectively validated.
For apprentices, on-the-job training complements the development of their skills. Employing engaging and adaptable learning methods is vital. Desktop, digital and simulation training fulfill these needs effectively. Moreover, online training offers flexibility, enabling learners to access materials and join sessions at their convenience, whether during travel, free time or in the mornings.
Micro-training, characterized by short bursts of learning, has proven highly engaging for learners and, thus, becomes a valuable tool in the training process.
Techs might not prioritize training because they may not perceive a direct alignment with their professional and personal goals. They may view it as just a checkbox for the employer.
However, investing in a fully trained staff brings overwhelmingly positive benefits beyond the financial impact. Trained techs exude confidence, impressing customers with their expertise. Service managers can focus on their roles instead of being constant technical advisors. This leads to fewer callbacks and increased jobsite efficiency.
Showing you care about your techs’ growth fosters loyalty and a habit of continuous learning. Creating a competitive environment through gamification encourages more training. Leveraging a fully trained staff elevates your company’s reputation as refined and technologically advanced.
Here are some of the best practices for incentivizing techs to want to train:
1. Review and establish each tech’s career progression path and professional objectives. Make sure they align with professional and personal aspirations.
2. Foster a positive training culture by publicly rewarding technicians for completed training and milestones. Privately demonstrate how their increased skill capacity contributes to meeting their financial and personal goals, including paid time off, preferred shifts, tools or other preferences.
3. Create a tool account for every tech. When training goals or milestones are achieved, disburse funds into those accounts for tool purchases. Consider purchasing the tool and personally providing it to the individuals during the meeting.
4. Find out a favorite sport. Let the tech use the corporate box or provide game or special event tickets.
5. Offer a variety of nonexpiring gift cards. They can be for local grocery stores, Amazon, movie theaters, restaurants, car washes, gasoline and convenience stores. High achievers each week can choose a gift card from the selection.
6. Celebrate big achievements with big prizes. The tech with the highest upskilling progress or the greatest goal achievement percentage receives a fully paid vacation each year. The options could include a cruise, a resort condo stay or a trip to their favorite destination, with specified limits on dollar amounts for transportation.
Offer abundant incentives to encourage your techs to upskill and train; ensure effective planning and implementation for any changes. Prioritize understanding your techs’ professional and personal goals. Happy contracting!