In August of 2014, a large hotel chain conducted a three-day run-through of a skyp training program that will activate in 2015. The unique, standardized program is geared toward the chain’s facilities services’ team members. The company’s goal: Establish, standardize and unify practices and operations in its engineering departments throughout the chain.
The double goal for team members is specific: preparedness for change, and job security. Each worker – painter, maintenance tech, engineering tech, HVAC technician, etc. – will be able to (1) check-mate his or her basic techniques and skills, (2) update capabilities, and (3) learn to use newer and/or better methods, products, materials, tools, equipment, and systems.
The program was developed by experienced craftspersons in construction, property maintenance, and power systems operations. It features multi-disciplinary, hands-on workshops in painting, maintenance, HVAC, electrical, mechanical, carpentry, plumbing, power plant, groundskeeping.
Each session will be skyped, on a rotational basis, into each property’s secured, employees-only telecom system. Each will be offered three days a week, at different times – again within forty-five days. This flexible feature tries to accommodate for unexpected departmental work surges, emergency situations and worker demands.
Participation is required. Each team member takes every workshop in his or her core job description. In addition, each person takes at least one workshop in every other job area in the department. And, every team member takes each workshop during his or her work shift.
Basically, here’s how it will work…
- A team member signs up for each training session two-to-three weeks in advance.
- A team member is encouraged to take all training sessions in his/her area before taking others.
- A team member can sign up, in advance, for the entire series of workshops in his core area.
- A team member reserves the option to take any other session before completing core program. 5. Class “size” is limited to two team members at a time.
- Each workshop runs thirty minutes.
Each workshop will follow a similar format…
- Each engineering department site is set up, in advance, for the next scheduled workshop.
- At his or her respective site, each team member “student” is provided with the same products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment being used by the trade craftsperson and instructor.
- Each team member uses the technique, or performs the task, that’s being demonstrated by the craftsperson/instructor.
- Every team member can e-mail or text questions and comments to that workshop’s instructor after each session, or at a later time or date.
- A team member completes each workshop by logging onto his or her online registration page.
- After completion, a team member can access the DVD-version of each workshop – at any time, at work.
- All products, materials, supplies, and tools used at a specific hotel site become part of that engineering department’s inventory – and can be used by team members in the future.
The training program draws on the filmed systems used for years by employer and franchise giants in nearly every industry. A painter friend works for the hotel chain, and attended the three-day run-through in August. He described the five-minute, on-line/mobile app critique at the end of each workshop.
“The questions were very specific. No ‘strongly agree to strongly disagree’ rating system. No multiple choices… Clearly the program’s developers – and the hotel people – wanted honest feedback. Input they could use to make the training even more helpful to engineering people.”
His enthusiastic attitude about the required program reminded me of something:
Every facility painter – every painter – that I know is always learning new things. In fact, they look for new things to learn. And, they look for ways both to improve and to upgrade what they already know. That’s what makes every one of them stand out from the crowd!
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“The top quality paintbrush can be improved upon only so much. The painter that puts that brush to work is always looking for – and seeing – room for improvement.” RDH