Hello again, R&R readers! I wrote an article titled, “Creating your own technician labor pool.” It was published in the Sept 2019 issue of R&R Magazine. If you haven’t read it, go check it out now because the concepts are still valid. This is the next one in the series of developing your labor pool. There’s a few more articles in the series so stay tuned.

Actually, this is less of an article and more of a letter to a friend. I know I have at least one friend in the sludge. Hmm…sludge, that reminds of a guy from my shop Rick. I’ll introduce him in a future article.

In most restoration and remediation firms, the (techs) front-line guys and gals are the money. Yes, other departments play a role, but the dollars are realized with production techs. They produce the work, fill in forms; either paper or digital, create sketches, write estimates, set, monitor, move and pull equipment and smile for the customer who sometimes isn’t always peachy.

Since techs are so heavily involved in producing jobs and earning the money, you may have a difficult time pulling them out of the field for training. Am I right? Is that true for you? If I were a betting person, every contractor is struggling with this very thing on some level.

Here’s my question. When are you going to commit to an actual training program that is consistent? Yeah, yeah, I hear you, ”but Chad, this happened, that happened. We trained them and they leave.”

That’s a different topic altogether, you can call me on this and I’ll shoot straight with you. After all, we’re friends and I’m in the sludge too.

Do you remember in your job ad, when you wrote, “Willing to train the right person” Well you’ve hired them which implies they’re the right person, now time for you to make good on your job ad.

Ok, here goes. As simple as this may seem, it may be too simple that you’ll discount it as lame, nonsense and noneffective. But just know, while you’re excusing away why you don’t train, your competition’s hiring advantage is they’re training their people.

Here’s the nugget. Train in the downtime. Specifically, when two or more techs are traveling in the same vehicle in between job sites. You’re paying for this time anyway, and travel time is non-productive. So might as well make good on your word and train your people. Otherwise, you’re paying them to catch up on social media feeds.

3 Concepts to Start Your Mobile Training Program

  1. Keep each session short, two minutes or less. This is high repetition and binge training. Short sessions and lots of them. Within a day’s work you could feasibly recapture 30 minutes of training time.
  2. Keep each session simple. Example: How does a dehumidifier work? What does a dehumidifier do? There are other topics, you can choose yours. It doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing. Simplicity is the key to execution.
  3. Keep techs accountable. You schedule their trainings and you verify they’ve completed the training.

Now is the time to take back lost time and make use of it. The only thing is will you?

Training is vitally important for the long-term success of your business. It can be done in multiple ways and multiple formats. Some training is best delivered classroom style, while other trainings are best delivered in bite size nuggets. I like training nuggets, easily digestible and can be taken on the road.

Best of luck developing your labor pool and training the ones you already have. Feel free to reach out.

“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat”  –Herschel Walker