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How to keep techs engaged with training and initiatives

May 16, 2024
While competitive pay is critical for employee retention, offering them career and skill development as well is important, too.

Retaining your best employees in today’s competitive marketplace requires more than just salary increases. Yes, money is still important, as are benefits. But for today’s millennial and especially Gen Z generations, job satisfaction also requires a chance to learn more, to develop and expand skills, and to see a path forward. These younger employees look for companies that offer training and development programs.

Don’t look outside for the right employee … look inside

Consider this if you are unsure of the value of training programs or concerned about the investment. Learning new procedures, processes, or technologies shouldn't require you to go outside your most valuable resource—your current employees. Remember, replacing a good employee can be very costly. Imagine how much more costly it is when you are simply adding new employees to deal with new technology or proceduresthings that can be learned by existing employees through a training program.

See also: Shop culture's impact on technician retention

Those costs to recruit new candidates include the cost of recruiting, which includes both advertising and the time HR spends finding, interviewing, and recruiting qualified candidates; the lost productivity when bringing a new employee on board (there is always a learning curve and a lot of paperwork); and finally, there is the issue of workplace integration. If you have a good team, bringing someone new into the mix can sometimes create new issues.

The actual dollars vary according to the position you are looking to fill, but those costs disappear when you decide to provide the necessary training to existing employees.

Don’t think training, think employee development

A training program usually involves improving and strengthening existing skills. These are very important to keep your employees up to date on all changes and advances. An employee development program usually involves training programs covering a wider array of issues to enhance a worker’s skills and acquire new knowledge.

In a work environment that relies more on millennials and their younger cohorts, it is vital that companies focus on employee engagement. A chance to advance and an opportunity to gain new knowledge through training and development says to your employees, “You are valued, your service is appreciated, and we are investing in you and your future as well as the company’s.”

See also: Shops find physical training aids effective to upskill technicians

Steps to implement a successful training program

Before you even begin to structure a program, it’s essential that you define your goals. This is true whether you are training diesel technicians, salespeople, customer service staff, or almost any job category you can think of. Then you need to create the steps to achieve those desired goals:

  • Determine what you want the training to accomplish: In some cases, the training may be used to achieve business goals or develop leadership skills. In others, the intent is to improve knowledge, skills, and/or abilities. Define what the opportunities are, how to measure completion, and what results are expected.
  • Determine training needs: You need to find out what skills are lacking to determine the needs. Use job descriptions, performance evaluations, and employee feedback to make your determination.
  • Develop a plan: Ask employees about their short-term and long-term goals and what they would need to feel qualified to move into the next position.
  • Identify resources: Not every organization has the in-house resources necessary to conduct successful training and development programs. If you go to a third party, determine how training will take place. In today’s remote work environment, this can be more complex.
  • Create metrics: Once the training is complete, it’s essential to measure its effectiveness. Evaluate employee reaction, test employees on what they’ve learned, observe if behavior and attitudes have changed, and document all results. This is the only way to know if your training goals have been achieved.

It’s important to remember that training and development programs are about more than just bringing employees up to date on the latest procedures and technology. They are a prime way to promote employee engagement and make your employees feel appreciated. Good training is a win-win for both the employee and the employer when it comes to retention.

This article was originally published on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Jane Clark | vice president, member services for NationaLease

Jane Clark is vice president, member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation, as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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