At some of the largest companies in the nation – Netflix, Google and Microsoft – new hires spend the first 90 days on the job following personalized onboarding processes, complete with first-day celebrations and mentoring buddies.
Wouldn’t it be nice if every company had that sort of time and resources?
In many small to mid-sized HVAC companies, technicians hit the ground running. But without the proper training and onboarding, technicians are being set up for failure. Instead, prepare employees for success using The EverRest Group 3-step approach:
1. Set clear expectations
Never assume new employees understand all aspects of their job. On the first day of work (or, ideally, before they start work), technicians should know what is expected of them. Some of the basics include:
- Honesty and integrity
- Positive and respectful attitude
- Performance within acceptable standards
HVAC business owners should also be prepared to explain how The EverRest Group’s 5 Critical Components of Success apply to individual technicians, including:
- Retail sales mix – Explain the importance of meeting a sales ratio of 80% replacements and 20% service.
- EverRest strategies – Provide detailed information about Lead Generator Tasks, Mandatory Lead Conditions and Secondary Lead Conditions.
- Visit 4 to 5 homes a day – Describe why working in 4 to 5 homes a day is critical to success.
- Maximize replacement gross margins – Showcase the importance of replacement gross margins in company (and individual) profitability.
- Operate with purpose – Express the importance of being motivated, committed and dedicated.
2. Provide tools and training
Technicians need more than a truck equipped with smoke test powder, megohmmeters and leak detectors to do their jobs properly. They need training specific to The EverRest Group’s process, including understanding Lead Generation Tasks, Mandatory and Secondary Lead Conditions.
The EverRest Lead Generation Tasks includes examining:
- Coils – Check for excessive rust, Freon leaks, restricted airflow, water leaks.
- Heat exchangers – Inspect for cracks or excessive rust that can lead to gas leaks.
- Compressors – Use megohmmeter readings and amperage draws to diagnose a problem.
- Motors – Examine for problems with fan and indoor blower, including bad bearings and oil leaks.
- Air ducts – Scrutinize for restricted airflow, air leaks and mold and mildew growth.
3. Show them the money
Some companies pay technicians an hourly rate and others pay an annual salary. No matter the base wages, employee incentives will drive more sales. More money equals more motivation.
EverRest’s standard recommendations for replacement sales commissions and incentives include 8% to the 100% commissioned salesperson and 3% to the technician who generated the lead.
Ultimately, the most significant component to employee success lies in positive company culture, said Kim Dawson, a human resources consultant. Employers need to focus on engagement, including listening to employees as they express concerns.
“You need to be diplomatic and honest simultaneously and mostly you have to care,” she said of company managers and owners. “There is no way to be successful in employee experience unless you are invested in the success of both the people and the business.”