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How to Un-suck Your Training

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When done right, training can skill-up any team member into a valuable asset. Note that the key to that statement is “done right.” If your training sessions aren’t getting you the results you desire, it could be because they don’t hold attendees’ interest. In other words, your team tunes out before the info can get in.    

To address this, I’d like to share a few tips on how to conduct training so that your team looks forward to them. At Blue Collar, we unofficially refer to this as “how to un-suck your training.”  

The Two Types of Training

Before we start, let me provide some context:  

There are two types of training: proactive training and reactive training. Proactive training generally falls into two categories: Training your team members to accomplish a one-off goal (such as learning how to use new software programs, equipment, etc.) or to provide support within their current role (ride-alongs, desk-alongs, etc.). Reactive training tends to be a response to something that’s taking place in the business that you’re trying to correct. This could mean providing advanced training to office team members to address efficiency concerns, training to improve close rates, or training to help team members overcome challenges.   

The Four Steps to a Successful Training 

Whether you’re conducting proactive or reactive training, the four steps below should help them to be successful: 

  1. Plan – Start by assessing your team’s needs, beginning with a department and moving to each employee individually. Grade them on performance, including timing, frequency, and modality.
  2. Develop – What valuable resources do you already have? Getting your topics nailed down will drive you closer to the result you are looking for. Technical and soft skills training, as well as product training, is important to generate additional sales.
  3. Execute – This can be done in-house, or you can hire a training company. Make sure that you understand your audience and learning types, as it needs to be fun and informative.
  4. Grade – Look at the results before and measure them afterward and along the way. If you can record the training, go back and review the delivery. If you got the results you were looking for, great! If not, you will need to go back to step one to see what is missing or lacking. One training may not get you the results you desire. It may take time to create new habits with your team; however, there should be signs of improvement immediately.  

The Real Power of Your Organization 

If you’re still questioning the value of recurrent training, I will leave you with this: The American Society for Training and Development revealed that of the 2,500 businesses surveyed, those who embrace comprehensive training programs” have 218% higher revenue per employee (and 24% higher profit margins) than those who don’t.   


While there’s no question that those numbers are powerful, they also prove where the real power is within your organization, and that’s your team.   

This article originally appeared in ACCA Now magazine, the publication serving contractors in the HVACR industry. A subscription to this excellent resource is included with your ACCA membership. Join now!

Chris Crew

Posted In: ACCA Now, Employee Training, People Management, Print Edition

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