HVAC servicing companies already have a pretty tight ship to run. Managing and growing an HVAC business successfully depends on a number of variables and management skills, such as being able to accurately assess service estimates, cutting expenses and overhead management, and putting the right employees on different types of jobs.
Management can be prone to mistakes, and that’s a part of life. We live and learn and accrue business acumen, but it can help to know some common management mistakes and how to avoid them.
In this article, we’re going to highlight common management mistakes that are costing HVAC companies money, and solutions to avoiding those mistakes.
Not covering all the bases in HVAC service agreements
HVAC service agreements can be difficult to efficiently manage, especially for contractors that have a large customer base. Shops that have been established for a while can find it difficult to manage all of the service agreements in their portfolio, and overly relying on physical paperwork and filing cabinets can prove to be a massive headache.
Common service agreements will typically involve twice annual maintenance visits for basic equipment servicing, such as heat pumps and air conditioners. However, the service plan can be a bit more complicated, and involve provisions for emergency services during irregular hours. Furthermore, manually scheduling maintenance visits for a large customer base can lead to mistakes, mixups, and overall just becomes too burdensome for even the most veteran customer service reps.
In this type of situation, it can immensely benefit HVAC companies to have a streamlined HVAC service agreement template, and automated software that takes a lot of the burden out of trying to manage an entire portfolio of customer agreements.
Promoting employees out of their element
Talent mobility for HVAC companies is a difficult thing to balance. In the eyes of many, being promoted to a management position is a reward for valuable employees that have proven themselves to the company.
However, problems arise when management positions are relegated to more behind-the-scenes and paperwork tasks, and HVAC employees specialize in on-site jobs.
So if you have an employee who performs incredibly well in on-site job performance, who is able to roll up their sleeves and troubleshoot many common and uncommon issues with HVAC equipment, promoting this person into a paperwork-based management position is effectively taking a valuable worker out of the field of duty.
It helps to create paths of talent mobility within your HVAC company. You can develop a path into management, and another path that focuses on HVAC skills proficiency. That way you can have your valuable office managers, but you’ll also have highly effective team leaders and site managers at ground zero of service calls.
You can reward your HVAC specialists with more skillful jobs and bigger bonuses, commissions, training their own response teams, and access to higher levels of training.
Not differentiating your Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniaks
When considering who to promote, you’ll also want to consider leadership capabilities as well as technical skills. A person can be very skilled at particular tasks, but have poor team leadership abilities. And a person may also have incredible team leadership abilities, but not be particularly expertised in technical skills.
Visionaries who aren’t highly technically skilled, but have the charisma to inspire employees and introduce innovation to the company, these are your Steve Jobs types that do great in public-facing management positions. You also have your Steve Wozniaks, who may not be the face of the company, but lead and inspire employees with their technical abilities.
Being able to clearly differentiate between these two types of employees, and reward them both equally and fairly, will prove valuable to your own management skills.
By Brad Smith