You’ve made it to the very last law of NexTech Academy’s training program! You’ve learned the ins and outs of how to set your students up for success within your company. You can review these laws here at any time. The last thing we want to instill in Training Leaders is the value of being flexible. Each new employee you bring on will have different needs, like the company’s needs ebb and flow throughout your journey training apprentices. You will need to be flexible in order to adjust to each student so that they have room to learn their own way. Think of how skyscrapers are built along coastal areas to withstand hurricane-force winds. They are made to be able to flex when a tropical storm hits so they don’t collapse. Don’t be so rigid in your training plan that any sort of breeze or bump along the way causes it to fall apart.
Training Leaders are encouraged to use their comprehensive knowledge of the learning program, who they are working with, the context of the company, and what’s happening on any given day to tailor the program for maximum efficacy. Being able to adapt creates a more student-centered environment, just like your future technicians will often need to adapt in the field to provide customer-driven service. The independence of the new technician will come in time. That being said, it is imperative that you understand the limitations of your new upcoming technician.
But What About Discipline?
Remember law four: discipline? Flexibility and discipline are not mutually exclusive–this means you can possess both. Both of these training laws have a time and a place. The flip side of being disciplined to stay focused is the ability to recognize situations that call for flexibility. Training Leaders need to be able to have that discretion; keeping the development of the student in mind will help you make tough decisions (like when and when not to send a new apprentice on an on-demand call only because the call board is full). Your priority as Training Leader is to develop competent and well-rounded electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians.
Dealing with Pressure
Let’s examine the situation from the blog post on discipline. Your call board is filling up and there’s pressure from other departments in the company to get the calls answered. However, your students are still just that — students! If you send them to a client’s house before they are ready, a variety of less-than-ideal outcomes can occur.
How to Make the Call
- When you’re faced with a situation where there are asks in different directions, pause. Reflect on this and take note of what’s happening from each angle.
- Think critically through your resources: what and who might be able to contribute a solution (and who might not be a good fit for this opportunity)? Perhaps you have several level 4 HVAC technicians, but all the calls are for plumbing emergencies and those students aren’t as advanced in the program.
- You will have to delegate, and it likely won’t be an easy decision. Making tough calls will require you to balance your commitment to the training schedule, company needs, and the learning stage of students. Without delegating and making the tough decisions, you could potentially set the student up for failure by sending them on a call they are not suited for.
- Afterwards, take stock of the outcome so that you can draw from this experience next time. For instance, is there room in the schedule for backup technicians to be on call in order to avoid more of these situations in the future?
NexTech Academy will equip Training Leaders with everything they need to create a learning environment where all types of people can succeed. You will always have support as a teacher, and we’ve set up the learning program so that your students will too.