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Voice of the customer

Level Up Your Maintenance Technicians with Online Learning

November 11, 2020

Last Updated: November 11, 2020

by Jose Orellana

Jose Orellana is the Director of Maintenance Services at Senné. As a calm, natural leader and believer in hard work, Jose leads his team through everything from regular cleaning services to light renovations and large scale capital improvement projects. No matter the time of day, Senné is there for their clients, and Jose is often the first on the scene.

Across all industries, companies are learning that hiring top talent is a key business differentiator. In fact, an LSA Global survey found that talent accounts for 29% of the difference between high- and low-performing companies.

Hire for Attitude, and Provide Maintenance Technician Training for Aptitude

Securing top talent doesn’t necessarily mean hiring employees that already have experience in everything you need them to do. Since our founding in 2009, we’ve found that the best predictor of employee success is hard work and a willingness to learn. Work ethic and dedication aren’t always skills you can teach, but for everything else, the maintenance team at Senné uses SkillMill™.

For the past year, we’ve used the SkillMill™ platform, and our hard-working team members have had the opportunity to level up in the skills they need for day-to-day tasks. Our maintenance technicians have varied skill sets — some are more experienced in HVAC, while others have a background in electrical work. However, what all Senné technicians have in common is a strong work ethic, attention to detail, reliability and an eagerness to learn. With this training, the maintenance team has been able to identify and close knowledge gaps. It’s also allowed our technicians to go deeper into what interests them and increase their proficiency in areas which they already excel.

Enriching Maintenance Careers with Cross-Training and Certification Prep

Our maintenance technicians have taken a wide variety of classes to prepare them for industry certifications that are required to complete specific tasks on the job site, including NATE exam prep, refrigeration systems and plumbing maintenance. These online classes also directly translate to valuable skills that they can use on site whenever they encounter HVAC, electrical, environmental, safety and plumbing issues. SkillMill™ can be used in advance to prepare for new challenges, as well as while on the job site to address immediate issues.

An Online Learning Strategy is Vital in Times of Crisis

Senné implemented SkillMill™ training in November of 2019, because we knew investing in online learning would set up our maintenance team for success. What we didn’t know is just how helpful this platform was going to be during the current COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders. Interplay Learning has been vital during a time where our employees are working from home. As we were making more infrequent site visits, our technicians had more time to build on their technical skills at home.

We used to rely on a shadowing system to train new technicians and teach new skills to current team members. Now, with this online learning platform for maintenance technician training, our employees are able to learn those same skills without needing to be in close proximity to each other. With limited capacity in our buildings, the ability to have one technician complete a wide range of HVAC and electrical repairs has been invaluable.

Overall, Interplay Learning has streamlined our employee training processes and given our employees the ability to learn at their own pace. Maintenance requests can be unpredictable, so with this online learning tool, our technicians are able to use their downtime to build on skills they’ll need in the future. Interplay Learning has enabled us to help our hardest working employees grow their skills to take on a variety of new responsibilities and challenges.

Jose Orellana

Jose Orellana

Director of Maintenance Services, Senné

Jose works closely with the team of property managers and manages all of Senné’s in-house maintenance technicians. He’s in charge of scheduling, coordinating and overseeing all work with outside vendors and contractors who provide services across the entire portfolio of managed properties for their clients.