4 tips to developing your trade team for success

A smart trade business owner knows proper training is crucial for the betterment and growth of their employees. Sure, your tradesmen may have gone through 3+ years of training at TAFE to learn their trade. Once they leave tertiary schooling, that’s where their learning stops. Unless you step in.

Your staff are the frontline of your business. They’re the ones that will be dealing with customers and suppliers, completing the work, quoting, following up work, and the list goes on. One of the best methods to develop your team through training programs.

In this way, your team are an investment, and a long-term one at that. Not only do you need to put new team members through training programs, you also need to ensure older staff are also undergoing refresher training.

Let’s use a soccer team as an example. You, as the business owner, are the ‘coach’. All your employees are the players. New players to the team will need to undergo training to a) improve their skills and b) ensure they understand the plays that the team already has in place. Older players will already have the skills and knowledge of the game. However, to ensure they don’t lose skills or become ‘rusty’, keep attending training.

So now you understand the ‘why’ you should consistently train your staff, let’s discuss the how:

1. The power of video

One of the best ways to present your training material is through videos. This is because videos are simply more engaging and are easy to follow.

For ‘on-the-job’ related tasks, such as how to deal with customers or even how to use a specific tool, have someone record you using a mobile phone.

For office related tasks (quoting, invoicing) where they will be using computer programs or applications, use a screen recorder to show the process you undergo to complete the task, such as QuickTime.

Some companies already provide video tutorials but making your own recording adds a personal touch and guarantees everything will be completed the exact way you want it to be.

2. Utilise external resources

Training books, seminars, manuals, and other resources from standard industry sources (Master Plumbers, Master Electricians, Master Painters etc.) can also be used for training.

However, when using external resources you do need to ensure that the materials they are learning will a) aid their long-term development and b) aid the business in it’s pursuit of profit and success.

3. Safety, safety, safety

As tradies, we are mostly doing hands-on jobs, ones that more often than not, can result in injury if undertaken in an unsafe manner. Due to this, we are greatly expected to follow, and consistently train our staff on, the Work Health and Safety Legislation.

In our own plumbing trade business, we have meetings with our tradesmen every fortnight. At these meetings, we make sure they revise and undergo WHS training for 20-30minutes. This ensures they are completing work safely and avoiding injury, AND as the owner whose responsibility it is to keep your employees safe, you have done your part!

4. Get feedback!

While it’s true that you’ll be able to know if your employee absorbed the training by reviewing their performance, but it’s far more efficient to get feedback right after the training. You will immediately be able to comprehend if your employees understood the training by bluntly asking them what they learnt.

Above this, ask them questions such as ‘what else would you like to learn?’ and ‘how can I improve your training?’ You can then tailor future training to suit their needs and wants, improving their engagement with the content!

Are you interested in learning more on staff hiring, training, and retention?

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.