Employee Retention

In a classic Lennox dealer meeting video, the Lennox territory manager encourages Dealer Jack to provide training for his technicians.

“What if I train them and they leave?” exclaims Dealer Jack.

“What if you don’t and they stay?” counters the TM.

As amazing as it seems, many small businesses hesitate to invest in training for their employees. They would rather retain ignorance than to risk losing competence. The irony is that by training, they do neither.

One of the most technically advanced residential air conditioning companies in the country is Air Conditioning by Jay in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bryce Johnson from A/C by Jay reports that a strong training program makes it easier to hire good technicians. Johnson says technicians want to learn and know that his company provides some of the best training for advanced diagnostics in the area. They seek out A/C by Jay, waiting for an opportunity.

Training helps attract and retain employees, but so does extra benefits and higher pay. For training to be truly justified, it must impact the organization in more ways than recruiting and retention. How effective is training?

Fairfax, Virginia based Cropp-Metcalfe is one of the nation’s premier air conditioning contracting companies. Mitch Cropp is a big supporter of NATE (North American Technician Excellence), a technician certification program similar to the ASE program in the automotive industry. When Cropp implemented an in-house training program, the pass rate for technicians who took the NATE certification exam increased 60{938cd9e8dae860e800efc538277d4f7684e6f6981618ba70d1c34357a53c2e1f}.

Granted, this is technical training and a technical exam. Yet the acquisition of knowledge is the acquisition of knowledge. Train your people on service and sales skills and you will also see a boost in performance. Depending upon your starting point, your sales or satisfaction may not increase 60{938cd9e8dae860e800efc538277d4f7684e6f6981618ba70d1c34357a53c2e1f}, but they will certainly increase.

Why implement a company training program? Recruit more technicians and better quality technicians. Boost technical performance and reduce callbacks with technical training. Boost customer satisfaction, sales, and referrals with soft skills training. You need both.

Copyright © 2002 Matt Michel

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