In an ideal world, every technician would be the perfect employee (just like you, right?). The reality is that some workers simply do a better job meeting your expectations than others. Whether it’s going above and beyond for customers, arriving to work on time and ready to go every day, or simply being an excellent technical resource, it’s important to keep your best HVAC technicians happy.
The market is rough right now. It should be no surprise that there’s a severe shortage of HVAC techs available for work. That puts the power in the hands of the employee. If the grass looks even a little bit greener working for one of your competitors, there’s no reason to stick around. Unless…. There is.
Building in business practices that cultivate loyal employees is critical all the time, but especially right now when it’s so difficult to find any techs to hire. Here are a few ways you can entice people to come on board and stay awhile.
Learn What Motivates Them
Even if you have a small team, take the time to get to know each of your techs personally. Do ridealongs or meet them for one on one coffee before the day gets started. Even though you might think you understand what motivates your team, you won’t really know until you get to know them. Most people are driven by a few key factors:
Compensation – Providing competitive pay is vital for all employees, but for most people, it’s not the actual driver to stay loyal to one employer over another.
Appreciation – Some employees need ongoing feedback and gratitude for their work, particularly when they work long hours or really go above and beyond. Appreciation also contributes to a sense of connection, belonging, and pride for the team.
Innovation – Working with the latest technology is essential to some techs. Whether that’s the tools they use to do their work or the internal dispatching software, these techs are motivated by being a part of a team that’s open-minded and finds creative solutions to today’s problems.
Achievement – Mastering challenging skills is essential to some employees, and there’s certainly plenty in HVAC to master. So, it’s necessary to provide that opportunity. If you have team members that only complete maintenance or repair work, they may get bored over time and look elsewhere.
Well-Being – Every person has a life outside of work. For some HVAC technicians, work is simply a means to a happy family life. These techs value medical benefits, flexibility with the occasional at-home crisis, and compassion for what’s going on outside of work.
Of course, people value all these things about a job. But most people value one specific item much more than others. Only focusing on one piece for all your employees and ignoring the others can prove disastrous. So, talk with your HVAC technicians one-on-one. That will give you insight into how you can best instill loyalty for each team member.
Learn from the Past
If you’re really struggling with keeping team members on-board, do some research. It’s not difficult to ask around and figure out what competitors are offering that you’re not. If you want some crystal-clear direction, look to the past. Offer to take some of your previous employees to lunch and see what you can learn. Be sure to come with an open mind. You’ll likely hear some hard truths about your organization. The good news is that once you’re armed with that knowledge, you can begin to fix it.
Building a Team of Happy, Loyal HVAC Technicians
There’s no silver bullet answer to building a team of happy HVAC technicians. But as a leader, it’s up to you to ensure your rock-star team members feel great about staying with your team – no matter how enticing other offers may seem.
Test out different ideas that touch on all different facets of employee drive. For example, offer paid continuing education to improve your team’s skills. If you receive a fantastic Yelp review naming one of your techs, be sure to share it with them (and the rest of the team, too!). Offer a town hall or brainstorming meeting, where technicians can provide their feedback.
Start doing these things, and you’ll see which techs respond to what kind of activity. Soon – you’ll be on your way to building a team of productive, happy, HVAC technicians.