HVACR Business

OCT 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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8 HVACR BUSINESS OCTOBER 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com F inding the time to escape from the office and ride with one of your technicians for a day can be difficult. Most owners and man- agers agree this is something they should be doing, but it's also something that tends to be pushed down the priority rung of the ladder as they react to more urgent matters. is is the world we live in, right? ere's always a customer to talk to, an interview to conduct or an employee who needs some attention. ose are all im- portant, of course, but those are reactive activities. you're reacting to the situation at hand instead of following a process. Most of the time these activities fall on the person wearing the service manager hat. is is one of the most demanding roles within the company, and a lot of the fires tend to land on their plate. e fires probably won't go away, but here are some best practices for getting your ride-along process off the ground. Start with a Plan Be realistic about the time you can de- vote to getting into the field. Every busi- ness is different and the responsibilities of the people doing the ride-alongs are also different. Devoting two days a week to the process would be great, but if all you can commit to is an aernoon per week, it's a start. e critical action is to follow the plan and take the actions that will free up your time on the ride-along days. is involves designating who will cover your daily ac- tivities when you're out in the field. Your coworkers will typically agree the ride- alongs are important and are willing to support the process, because having better training results in the field makes every- one's job easier in the long run. Block out your schedule on ride-along days, so you can focus on the task at hand without distractions. A monthly schedule works best. Next, determine who you will ride with on those days you have blocked out. Everyone should be on the ride along schedule, but it doesn't mean everyone gets equal time. Some technicians may need a little more training than others. Don't ignore your top producers or long- term employees. Aside from the developmental oppor- tunities involved in a ride-along, you may discover there is an important cultural benefit of riding with your technicians. You'll get to know them better and it's a great opportunity to learn how you can improve things of which you may not have been aware. BY JODIE DEEGAN When your ride-along schedule is consistent and that cloud of negativity goes away, the results will continue to improve. Trust goes up. continued on page 10 Time spent mentoring and bonding with your employees in the field is solid gold THE IMPORTANCE OF RIDE-ALONGS

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