The benefits from consistent technical training and soft-skill training are far-reaching and should be part of your business plan if you want to attract top talent and stay competitive in the residential home service industry.
Knowing this is one thing, but acting on it can present challenges. Here are five things that you should consider when selecting a program for your business.
1. Account for the way people learn
Adults need to feel a connection to what they’re learning so that they can engage and recall the information when they’re on the job. People learn differently (check out this article and infographic from Inc.com), so the program you pick should include content that can be experienced in a variety of ways.
2. Create a safe place to try and fail
Many people in the residential home services industry identify as kinesthetic learners. This means they learn best when they are trying things out as they are learning. For example, a solid electrical training program will incorporate skill-based activities as a great way for students to learn while doing. Activities will also help them build confidence as they practice skills many times before they are working with homeowners.
3. Align training with your business goals
Make sure you practice what you teach. Employees can easily lose momentum and confidence if they are unable to apply what they’ve learned. Evaluate the program, study the curriculum flow and modify the teaching if you need to. It doesn’t make sense to invest in a vocation technical training program if the business is not prepared to execute the knowledge and best practices gained.
4. Plan to provide support & get feedback
Be prepared to provide guidance as employees work through training. Leaving employees without support can lead to disengagement, unanswered questions, frustration and they may perceive that you’re uninterested in their development.
Regular check-ins with employees can also help you know if the training program is effective. Ask them what’s working and what isn’t. Giving employees the opportunity to reflect on their training will enhance its meaning. Managers who promote reflection on training and performance help guide employees to apply their new knowledge comfortably and confidently.
5. Seek flexibility
The nature of the home service industry means that there are going to be times during the year where it’s going to be easier to facilitate a training program than others. Consider a program that allows you to begin when it works best for your business or gives you the ability to balance learning while meeting the daily demands of homeowners needing your services. Online technical training may work best if you’re needing a flexible start date.
Also plan for the specific learning needs of your employees. If you feel they will work best learning in pairs or small groups, make sure you create the appropriate environment. If they need a flexible schedule to balance their training commitment with other work/life responsibilities, ask yourself what you can do to make it happen.
The NexTech Academy program
If this information inspires action, you will want to learn more about NexTech Academy. Designed with the student in mind, NexTech Academy provides an online, self-paced program that features hands-on skill assessments, technical, sales and service training.
NexTech Academy coaches work with local training leaders (a designated manager or senior technician within your company who works with new apprentices) to successfully implement the training program in their businesses. Our coaches are experienced professionals who have worked in the industry and understand the challenges you face when recruiting and training new technicians. They will work with you to help facilitate enrollment and navigation of the program and can help with teaching strategies for skills assessments. When you need support, NexTech Academy coaches are here to help.