For those who own and operate HVAC and plumbing companies, the benefits of providing online training to your technicians are numerous – from improved performance on service calls to increased morale and job satisfaction.
Implementing online training can offer a significant lift to your bottom line, too: companies that invest heavily in online training enjoy over 24% higher profit margins on average.
And those are just the high-level benefits of online training. Let’s take a closer look at what it is about online training that can level up skilled trades businesses like HVAC or plumbing.
Online Training Allows Learners to Upskill at a Flexible Pace
Unlike classroom-only settings, where all learners study the same material at the same pace, online training allows people to learn autonomously at their own pace.
So, when a learner comes across a section of course material that doesn’t make sense, they can slow down and rewind or even start over and repeat the lesson from the beginning. In a traditional classroom setting, it’s difficult to accommodate the optimal pace for each learner since each class happens in real-time for all students. Not only does synchronous learning enforce a shared pace, it also creates logistical challenges for those students who are already working full-time and juggling family obligations.
Online Training Is Perfect for Skilled Trades Technicians to Learn No Matter Where They Are
Because online training tends to be presented in an on-demand format, it’s a flexible way to provide bite-sized learning opportunities to your technicians that they can utilize when and where their schedule permits.
In most cases, learners can complete online training from a basic laptop or a cost-effective Chromebook device. In many situations, learners can even use a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to access online training, allowing them to complete courses whenever and wherever they are – a perfect way to take advantage of downtime between service call appointments.
Online Training Can Be Customized to Technicians’ Needs
Online training for skilled trades like plumbing and HVAC opens the doors to personalized learning in ways that classroom-only training is not well-suited to do.
For example, the Interplay Learning online training platform, SkillMill, allows administrators to tailor learning to the needs of the learner. So if a technician is struggling with a particular type of service call, a SkillMill administrator can select additional training in that subject matter area for the technician to refresh their knowledge and shore up their fundamentals.
Online training can also be used to intentionally plan and design professional development pathways for employees.
This in turn creates opportunities to upskill and potentially even advance their position within your company – something that is tremendously important to the newer generations of skilled tradespeople when choosing an employer with nearly one-third of surveyed employees citing a lack of advancement opportunities as one of the top reasons they would leave a job.
In SkillMill, competency paths include options for HVAC like Cooling Diagnostics, Heating Diagnostics, and CHP-5 HVAC Fundamentals and paths for plumbing like JumpStart Installation Basics, Water Heater Professional, and Pipe Repair Professional, as well as pathways for many other disciplines, including Multi-Family, Solar, and Appliances. You can browse the full catalog of competency paths and learning paths and the individual courses that comprise each path here.
Online Training Creates Better Job Outcomes for Skilled Trades Businesses Like HVAC and Plumbing
Job performance on service calls is one of the most, if not the most, essential variables that a skilled trades business owner can improve in their business to impact overall profitability.
Here’s why: proficiency yields consistency for service calls. When service calls are less likely to result in call-backs and are more likely to contribute to a healthy first-time fix rate, your company’s profit margin remains intact.
Online training is one of the most effective ways to improve technicians’ performance on service calls because on-demand training can be assigned based on techs’ specific needs and areas requiring extra training.
Online Training Improves Hiring in a Tough Skilled Trades Labor Market
Hiring is one of the most painful aspects of running a plumbing or HVAC business in today’s ever-worsening labor shortages.
But what if you could broaden the net and attract a broader range of candidates?
A robust online training platform allows you to adopt a ‘hire for attitude and train for aptitude’ hiring strategy. This approach opens new doors to nontraditional candidates who may not have the skills or knowledge of a seasoned candidate but can become strong technicians for your company with some training.
Further, when you invest in your employees through learning and development, it demonstrates to your candidates that you are invested in them.
With 87% of millennials reporting that professional development or career growth opportunities are important to them in a job, providing access to training can be a serious differentiator that can help your company stand out in a crowded candidates’ market and attract top technicians.
Online HVAC and Plumbing Training Improves Employee Morale and Retention
Offering training improves technician morale and job satisfaction – two critical factors that impact employee retention for skilled trades businesses like HVAC and plumbing.
Engaged and fulfilled employees are more likely to stay with their current employer. 94% of employees report that they’d stay at a company longer if their employer invested in helping them learn. Employee churn is a crucial metric to pay attention to in a fraught hiring market where backfilling job vacancies can be difficult and expensive.
Ready to Get Started?
If learning about the benefits of online training for your skilled trades business has piqued your curiosity, learn more about the Interplay Learning SkillMill online training platform or request a personal demo.