July 2023 Newsletter

A Word from our President

by – Luke Parthemer-Fenix Heating & Cooling

luke

Hello, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Luke Parthemer and I am one of the owners of Fenix Heating and Cooling. This will be my second time as the KCCA President. Unfortunately, this proves that even a poor President can get elected, even for a second term😃.   

As all of you are aware, there have been many changes that our industry has had to endure over the last 15 years. This never stops, and the industry has many more changes to come in the next few years. KCCA is determined with your help to keep us all up to date on the constant changes.

With that said, I would like to personally invite everyone to our planning meeting at the Scotch and Sirloin on July 20th at 11:45. The lunch is complimentary and there will also be a drawing for a chance to win $100.  We would appreciate your help in assisting us to bring in the best speakers in our industry that will continue to keep us educated and informed. Thanks for being a member of KCCA and I look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting.

RSVP on-line @ kccaks.com

Please feel free to email or call Luke at (316) 945-4842 or lukep@fenixheat.com with any concerns or questions.


Education


KCCA $500 TOOL SCHOLARSHIP
The board revised the Tool Scholarship a little. KCCA wants the employee to be working for the KCCA member for 3 months before they are eligible for the $500 tool Scholarship. So in short the employee or employer need to submit application and proof of graduation from one of our local trade school after the employee has worked for them for 3 months.


June’s General Meeting

Thank you Darrell Bogner for coming out and giving us a great presentation, it was great to see a big turnout.

Hope to see you @ future meetings!! All general meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month except August & December.


2023 Meetings

 
July 20th                Planning meeting-Free Lunch @ Scotch RSVP on website @ kccaks.com

This list is subject to change due to speakers not able to make the date we have selected for them.

Investing in Tech Training

It’s up to contractors to encourage technicians to gain additional training

By Hannah Belloli

TRAINING GRADUATE: J.C. Newman, technician with Roscoe Brown in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is a graduate of NexTech Academy. (Courtesy of Roscoe Brown)
April 6, 2023

HVACR technician training is the key to any successful HVACR company. It also requires buy-in, and that can mean anything from suggesting particular courses to encouraging training through incentives like bonuses. The payoff? Employee retention, employee satisfaction, and happy customers.

Techs who keep their skills sharp through training will almost inevitably progress in their career and generate more money for both themselves and the contractor. However, in order for technician training to really succeed, it has to extend past the mechanical side of things and into customer service.

“I believe training and development may honestly be more powerful than wages themselves.”

– Jasen Laws
head profit coach
Business Development Resources (BDR)

Why Train?

The type of training a technician has usually directly coincides with how much money they make and what point they are at in their career. As a technician adds skills to their repertoire, their value as an employee increases, and they’re usually able to generate more revenue for the contractor. So if a technician is looking to move up the ladder and make more money, training is a great way to do so.

ONSITE: NexTech Academy technical coach Joe DeLong was onsite this fall to help with some onsite HVAC training at J’s HVAC Unlimited in Surry County, North Carolina. (Courtesy of J’s HVAC Unlimited)

“[Training] allows them to kind of escalate their own income and create more opportunities in terms of job promotions and potentially commission structures, depending on how the contractor has organized your wage progression,” said Joel Ellingson, director of NexTech Academy team.

Jasen Laws, head profit coach, Business Development Resources (BDR), noted that for contractors, actively seeking ways to invest in their technicians’ future — and communicating that — is one of the biggest keys to retention. People prefer to work for a company that invests in them long-term.

“I believe training and development may honestly be more powerful than wages themselves,” Laws said.

When a contractor is willing to invest in their people, it shows that they not only understand the value of people, but that the industry in which they serve is people-centric.

Ellingson said if he were a technician, he’d spend most of his time evaluating the contractors he wanted to work for through how they planned to support his skill development path as a technician.

“Because they communicate so many different things with the manner in which they do that,” he said. “They communicate how much they care about the technician as an individual, because a more skilled technician equals a more valuable technician, more capable of providing for themselves and their family.”

As a plus, this tends to attract the types of technicians who view their work as a career, not just a job.

Technician training is also necessary for extraordinary customer service, since the employees sent into customers’ homes end up being the “face” of the company.

“We have to remember that the experience they provide to that client will probably play the most significant role in how the client feels about our company, and what ultimately becomes our reputation in the marketplace,” said Jason Carroll, president of P1 Service Group. “And so when you think about it that way, I think it’s fair to say that training is one of the most critical factors to the success of our companies.”

Training with Intention

With a vast array of training options available, technicians need to be guided toward what options benefit their skillsets and goals, or chances are they may not to participate at all. Contractors can guide and encourage technician training and certification through providing prescriptive options for technicians.

TECH TRAIN: Dealing with everyday technician challenges at an onsite training (Courtesy of J’s HVAC Unlimited)

“The key for any contractor that wants to support the process of skill development for new technicians is understanding that developing a competent, engaged, customer-focused workforce, requires an approach that’s systematic,” Ellingson said. “You have to make sure you’ve got facilitated curriculum, skill practice, field mentorship, reward-based skill objectives … and help communicate to the technician that this is how you’re going to help them build their skill. Then you’ve also got to have a safe practice space so when the technician comes back from a rough day where something didn’t go well, they’ve got a place where they can go without a customer nearby.”

Carroll said contractors have to first have written, repeatable processes in place for the technicians to follow when it comes to the mechanical training, product training, and customer service training. If the technician isn’t proficient in all three areas, they won’t provide a five-star experience to the client.

Contractors can also help encourage technicians to want to keep their skills sharp through incentivizing them for completing trainings.

“We have to regularly motivate the behaviors we’re looking for,” Carroll said. It could be something small, like recognizing when good work is done, or through raises or bonuses, extra time off, and promotions — things that remind technicians how important the work they do is, and why they should want to invest in it more.

“It’s a team sport. You have to have a plan, you have to be intentional about what you’re designing and what you’re trying to reward and incentivize,” Ellingson said.

At BDR, as a technician increases in pay because of their certifications, their title increases as well.

“It’s also the increase of level and status within the organization. As we grow in our careers, we want the recognition that comes along with it as well,” Laws said.

While Ellingson agrees with rewarding any activity that engages a technician’s desire to gain more skills, he cautions that the customer experience should be emphasized as well.

“You don’t want people running off acquiring a bunch of skills, getting rewarded for that, and then creating three-star review experiences for customers,” he said. “The message should be: We value your skill development and we would like to reward you for investing in yourself while protecting our reputation with our customers.”

Training Time

Done right, online training can be a great supplement to in-person learning — especially for an industry like the HVACR industry, when work can be seasonal.

“If you can use virtual training for some of your trainings to keep your technicians more efficient and to make training more realistic in your organization, then I think it’s totally worthwhile,” Carroll said.

The availability to incentivize technicians into taking the training initiative themselves has increased as the online options have, Laws said. But a lot of technicians are still going to need motivation.

“When they get home from work, do they really want to do this on their own time? There needs to be an additional incentive in order to get them to go through those training modules,” Laws said.

If contractors are willing, the best option to encourage technician participation and desire to get certified may be offering those training courses during their normal work week. In fact, it’d be perfectly reasonable to carve out a specific amount of time — every week — for technicians to train and work on their skills.

“We don’t train enough in our industry. It should become part of our industry culture to carve out time regularly for techs to do these things,” Laws said. “We need to be investing two hours a week minimum to training, all year long.”

Think of everything a technician could possibly be trained on: each applicable product available, all the different types of mechanical systems, and then the customer service piece — it’s a lot.

“I think in order to accomplish this end result we really need to be intentional about creating those outcomes,” Carroll said. “If we do that over time, we’re growing every single week. We’re getting better every single week. And I think that’s what we should all strive to be doing: just getting a little bit better every single week.”


Funny Photos

The inside of an A-Coil.  How does that even happen!

risk management corner

Will a Billion Dollar Disaster Affect Your Business? 

When it comes to weather and climate disasters, the clock is ticking. As the likelihood of a major climate event impacting your business surges higher each year, disaster recovery planning is critical.

In 2022, the U.S. experienced 18 separate weather or climate disasters that resulted in at least $1 billion each in damages.1

It had the eighth most disaster-related fatalities for the contiguous U.S. since 1980, with 474 direct or indirect fatalities.1

Damages from the 2022 disasters totaled $165.1 billion, and the combined cost from events of this caliber over the past 10 years totals $1.1 trillion from 152 separate billion-dollar events.1

Your business is essential. Take action now.

Should a climate or weather disaster strike, your employees and customers need you to reopen as soon as possible. You are essential to your community’s recovery efforts, so take action now.

 Know your risks. Find and review your county’s hazard analysis or disaster mitigation plan to understand what events impact your geographic area.  Develop a plan to respond to each of the identified risks.

 Your plan should take into account your business’s essential operations, employees, equipment, suppliers, technology, and finance needs.

 Inflation and supply chain issues are rapidly increasing the cost of rebuilding following a disaster. Review your policy limits and talk with your marketing representative to help ensure that you have the proper coverage in place to fully recover from a climate or weather disaster.

1. 2022 U.S. Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in historical context. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/2022-us-billiondollar-weather-and-climate-disasters-historical-context. Accessed 3/16/23.