Why Training Is a Must
Training has always been a priority with our shop. The benefits far outweigh the cost of time and money. Training enables us to stay current in our rapidly changing industry. Today's consumer recognizes the fact that vehicles are more complicated than in years past, and the fact that our staff is highly trained gives consumers confidence to trust us with their auto maintenance and repairs. Training availability and encouragement has enabled us to attract a high-caliber technician who appreciates the value of continued education. We receive the ASE Blue Seal each year, which is recognition of our team's dedication to training.
Our industry is fortunate that so much training is available. However, so much training being available sometimes presents a little bit of a challenge in selecting just what's best for you because it is offered by multiple sources, such as associations, parts and equipment manufacturers, community colleges and independent developers. We choose our training according to the training's quality and convenience. In addition, we recommend training opportunities to our technicians according to their experience level and goals.
Training availability has greatly been enhanced by the use of Internet-based Webinars. More and more training is being offered via the Internet with a live instructor. This eliminates the inconvenience of travel time, and the total cost is much less than traditional training. We invested in a laptop computer, which allows our staff greater flexibility to take advantage of these training opportunities. This type of training delivery is in its infancy, and I predict it will make a major impact as course availability and utilization increases.
To maintain a consistent level of training, we require our technicians to participate in 16 hours of training each year. Our policy is to pay the employees if the training is during business hours. If the training is on a weekend or after business hours, then only travel expenses are paid. Our staff is enthusiastic about training and recognizes its value in their personal and professional development.
As an enhancement to our training requirements, we have a training library in our break room. There our staff can locate recent issues of the trade publications to which we subscribe. In addition, training DVDs - along with a television/DVD player - are available. We encourage everyone to use materials at the shop or to check them out for use at home.
My recommendation to other shop owners is to seek out the many training opportunities available through all of their business associations, especially ASA and AMI. Once appropriate training is identified, make attendance a job expectation. The investment you make toward training pays big dividends. It's truly a win-win.