If you want to know why your HVAC training program isn’t motivating your techs to up-skill, start by taking a look at how engaged they are.When you have an HVAC business, you depend on your technicians every single day to represent your company and get jobs done professionally. Taking care of your team includes keeping them motivated to always do their best work and continually improve their skill set.
Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and the industry is now being flooded with younger HVAC technicians. With this new generation of HVAC tech under your wing, it can be really challenging to figure out what keeps the fire burning inside of them. How can you motivate them to stay on top of their craft and best serve your clients? What worked for your senior techs is probably not going to work for the newer ones.
Let’s face it; some senior HVAC techs have an attitude that they have already mastered their craft, leading to complacency and disinterest in up-skilling. But the Green techs? They’re likely unsure of their skills as a beginner because their training isn’t motivating them to improve. They either don’t have adequate, updated training materials, or they are missing out on critical exposure to repetitive learning opportunities. Maybe it’s both. In either scenario, a lack of quality training can be seriously demotivating, and that mindset often leads to under-performance and costly mistakes.
A Lack of Motivation Can Be Expensive
When your techs aren’t motivated to perform at their best, they are likely to make mistakes. While minor mistakes may not have a huge impact in one-off situations, they can certainly have a compounding effect. Overtime, these errors can normalize negative patterns, and ultimately lead to poor service, frustrated techs and unhappy customers.
Good Techs are Hard to Find... and Keep
Good techs are becoming increasingly harder to find. The talent pool is small, making it even more imperative that you prioritize finding new and creative ways to motivate your techs to keep working for you and attract new talent. Failure to motivate your team members opens you up to the risk of having them be lured away by one of your competitors.
If you’re looking for the best way to keep your techs motivated, consider improving your current training program. Why? Because your current program is likely not doing enough to engage your learners. And, if your training programs aren't engaging learners, you are missing out on your best chance to grow your team and business.
Out with the Old.
For as long as most of us can remember, HVAC training and continuing education has been a random mix of DVD’s, classroom lectures, and in-the-field training. But times are changing, and as we head into 2020, those methods are officially outdated.
Classroom learning has never been a particularly effective way to learn a skilled trade, and it becomes less impactful with each passing year. In-the-field, training is great, but it is challenging to scale and doesn't give trainees enough repetition to truly master new skills.
As we head into 2020, VR and 3D simulation training for HVAC will be the most effective approach for HVAC technicians to not just learn, but stay motivated to be on top of their HVAC game.
The Age of the Digital Native
The HVAC technicians beginning their careers today are digital natives. Born into a world where smartphones and laptops were already a normal part of daily life, they are accustomed to learning and consuming content on a screen. Because of this, HVAC training materials now have to keep up with the times and be available online and offer engaging material that holds learner attention. Moreover, these HVAC techs require the flexibility of learning on their own time and at their own pace. Without a doubt, the new generation prefers on-demand, online video courses, 3D simulations and VR— turning the way we deliver HVAC training content completely on its head.
But this paradigm shift in learning styles is good news for increasing motivation. Not only do younger techs find this training more enjoyable, but research has also shown that VR based HVAC simulations are far more effective than traditional models. This type of training is immersive, placing techs visually inside life-like training scenarios.
Visualization is a powerful memory tool. It leads to faster learning and better retention when it comes to the troubleshooting tasks that HVAC techs are likely to encounter in the field. The repeated physical movement involved in an immersive simulation also helps people quickly master the specific movements of common tasks.
Interplay Learning's latest HVAC training also introduces the concept of gamification to help with your motivation programs. Gamification increases learner engagement by adding the element of goals and competition. It makes learning fun. Managers can assign their learners individual Career Tracks based on their current level. They can then monitor their progress through the administrator dashboard to reward techs for hitting achievement goals. Plus, gamification creates the opportunity to compete against other team members. Nothing motivates learners more like a little healthy competition. Your techs will be racking up points and gaining valuable training hours, all while mastering their skills. Why not leverage technology to do all the motivating for you?
Learn more about how game-play can improve tech performance.
The Best Techs Want to Get Better
The reality is, the very best technicians with the most potential want to improve their skills. They will be looking specifically for an employer that will support the evolution of their craft so they can earn higher paying roles. If you’re not offering the very best training, aimed at engaging and motivating techs to improve their personal careers, they are definitely going to go elsewhere.
So, if you want motivated workers, and well-trained technicians, make sure you are offering the very best in training that speaks to a new generation of learners. You will see job satisfaction on the rise, plus better performance, fewer mistakes, and greater confidence to serve your clients better.