Four Ways to Inspire Your Team Through Training
Worried About Retaining Employees? Inspire Them to Keep Growing
By: Richard Shaw,* Vice President, Customer Experiences at Resideo
My career has not followed what many may consider a typical path... especially considering where I sit today. In fact, my own story plays a big part in why I am intent on “seeding the next generation of professionals,” as well as ensuring continued access to learning.
At the age of 18, I knew that I wasn’t done with learning, but going to university wasn’t an option. My parents couldn’t afford to pay for it, and I certainly didn’t want the debt. I was lucky enough to secure a Controls Engineer apprenticeship in Birmingham, UK -- one of ten apprenticeships in the company that eventually became Resideo. Five years later, I earned a First Class Honors Degree.
At that time, I was intent that there was something more I needed to do. A year later, I went back to my school, and was able to extend an apprenticeship to another bright student to start their journey.
As it turns out, I may have been a trendsetter (for the first time in my life)! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of apprentices at U.S. companies has doubled over the past 10 years. Moreover, companies see them as a solution in a job market that has two job openings available for every one person looking for work.
One of the most rewarding parts of my career continues to be mentoring and providing opportunities for others to grow. The establishment of our global training and enablement team, and working alongside our construction partners, and other groups, like the Building Talent Foundation (BTF) – to help attract and train the next generation of professionals is something that not only will stick with me long after my career has ended but hopefully continue to give back to others throughout their career.
The biggest opportunity for the industry is engaging and encouraging this group. This leads to an important question: how can we not only bring them through the door, but also continue to equip them to grow their careers in this amazing, hugely rewarding industry?
The answer is universal: help them keep learning.
Together, BTF and its partners are focused on engaging 1 million youth and career changers to explore careers in construction by 2030 and have set a goal to bring 100,000 new skilled workers into the sector. This includes having a strong focus on bringing women and people of color into the field and creating more opportunities for long-term success.
At the heart of the effort? You guessed it: learning.
Trends in Trades Training
BTF and Leading Builders of America took a comprehensive look at the ongoing talent shortage that’s facing the residential construction industry, especially amid current global factors. The findings from the survey spotlight the acute need for more training opportunities for people in the residential construction space, including HVAC, plumbing, security, and smart home. Employee turnover is a constant concern, one that can result in high costs for employers – up to $15,000 per employee.
Right now, almost half of tradespeople working in the residential construction sector are leaving for another job. The most cited reason from those surveyed was a “lack of career advancement, training and learning new skills” (31%), surpassing “pay and benefits” (28%), as well as “my boss doesn’t treat me well” (15%).
But there is good news: 51% of tradespeople working on residential construction job sites are planning to stay in their jobs, seeking out training and opportunities to gain new skills. Providing opportunities to help employees not only create a solid foundation, but then be able to evolve atop it – branching out with upskilling and new ways to engage – is a linchpin for creating and sustaining an engaged workforce.
Tips On How to Train
Here at Resideo, I’m proud that we have aimed toward this goal for many years, working to keep it as a central element in how we run our business, support our partners, and help elevate the entire industry. But we also know that we cannot be successful if we don’t consistently look ahead, build up and adapt. That drive was part of the inspiration for Resideo Academy, and our recently-launched, flexible learning environment for our customers, employees and partners. It’s a customizable professional development platform that spans demos, hands-on training sessions, and course materials.
With nearly a year under our belts, we’ve begun to see some themes and best practices emerge as contractors across the globe dig in:
- Make It Mobile and Task Relevant. Meet your employees where and when they are – having training that can flex to their busy schedules, the pace they prefer, and how they can most easily access content from most anywhere is a boon. Make sure its task relevant to the outcome they are trying to accomplish.
- Keep It Role-Based. Having learning experiences focused specifically to the different types of employees – business owners, trade pros, apprentices, even students – not only makes it feel more customized to the employee, but also provides a bridge to the day-to-day scenarios they take on. Offer “you might also be interested in” suggestions that link together some other topical pathways.
- Inspire Through Mentorship. Experience is invaluable, and a mentor/mentee connection can aid newer employees in being inspired by the opportunities and journeys of both their peers and leaders.
- Leverage the Power of Apprenticeships. Community educational institutions – from vocational trade schools for teenage students on through post-graduate offerings – are important resources that can truly get your team formed long before you meet your newest hire. If you have not already engaged one of the schools in your area, do so now – you and your team will benefit from candidates with existing interest, real-world learning, and readiness for what’s next.
Providing training for employees is such a cyclically beneficial opportunity for any workforce, and even more so with an industry like residential construction – and all the related fields that tie into it. And with employees, especially those newer to their roles, looking to get those chances to learn more to grow their skillsets, it becomes a more obvious and prominent choice to make for a team’s long-term, collective success.
And one thing I’ve learned during my career is that when an opportunity presents itself, either hold onto it and run … or… be sure you're the one presenting it.
*Richard Shaw is the Vice President of Customer Experience at Resideo and brings his 20+ years of global operations experience to drive strategic business transformations and lead new business initiatives. As a customer experience evangelist, he believes customer loyalty is earned when innovative products deliver exceptional experiences and solve real problems AND are matched with outstanding service. As a technology enthusiast, he looks to leverage technology as a means to drive simplification, user/customer experience, and productivity for Resideo's customers.