Prioritizing The Employee Through Education-Focused Programs

By investing in education-focused programming, business leadership can help green industry pros achieve individual success and build a robust ecosystem of resources.

Dpy7ar Hi
System Pavers

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding the booming growth of the outdoor living industry, while simultaneously, conversations regarding the most significant employee deficit the industry has experienced. It’s necessary to call out this is not sustainable. If we rely on traditional methods to recruit and retain employees and don't implement new ways of thinking, our progress will fade as quickly as it came.

The evolution of homeowners' expectations and needs means it's time for us to adapt every aspect of our business to meet the changing demands. Helping teams achieve success by providing learning and development solutions will ultimately drive business results. 

Companies must question how we attract qualified employees while prioritizing the whole employee experience, specifically regarding education and training. By investing in education-focused programming, business leadership can help people achieve individual success and build a robust ecosystem of resources.

The opportunity to succeed comes with a promise and expectation that employees will have the training and education to be successful. Experience without context is challenging to translate, but education-focused programs give personnel the prerequisites to thrive.

Support a More Diverse Workforce

Historically, the outdoor living industry has maintained a more "traditional" workforce. Still, with competition increasing and overall interest in the career field declining, companies need to provide more to entice employees and support a wider variety of staff. 

We can't let the long-established ways of working in construction distract us from taking cues from modern-day powerhouses such as Big Tech and consulting firms. We must use their successes as indications of the future and implement new strategies to support a more diverse and capable workforce while also stimulating current employees. With the opportunity to integrate new technology, equipment, products and design techniques, outdoor living professionals can accomplish more without as much of a physical burden. So, how do we integrate these innovative ways of thinking and build on the foundation of the outdoor living industry? The answer is based on education and efficiencies, leading to more diverse and influential teams. 

Creating a culture of learning improves retention, closes knowledge gaps and boosts hiring and training speed. The employee journey is more important now than ever, with learning and development programs as a top priority. 

Discover Learning Types and Delivery Channels

With consumer demand breaking record highs over the past few years, it's crucial to refine skills and evaluate how we recruit and retain employees; however, not all education programs are the same. Companies should first consider the different delivery channels and learning styles that easily integrate into individual employee journeys.

Sixty-five percent of learners are visual learners, but most education content is presented as text. How can we adapt our methodology to create accessible materials for different learning styles? You may need multiple delivery channels to support a large team, including instructor-led, computer-based and real-life ride-along. Some employees may be on the road with the opportunity to listen to audio training, while others would benefit from increased in-person experiences. 

Technology allows companies to present a constant flow of learning content tailored to their employees’ growth opportunities, making resources available 24/7, no matter where they are located. Companies can provide access to various types of virtual and in-person options to cater to their diverse workforce, including manufacturer-hosted webinars and events, industry podcasts, articles and microlearning courses, and list learning opportunities in one accessible place.

This type of programming highlights the importance of investing in every person before they run their first appointment. They will feel valued, giving them the confidence they need to be successful. 

See the Return of an Educated Workforce 

By implementing people-first programs driven by education, company leadership shows commitment to investing in its people. The return on investment of a more intelligent workforce who can capitalize on efficiencies is tremendous. Whether expanding what services teams can provide, increasing your conversion rates or shortening project timelines, investing in your personnel drives up overall revenue. 

Human capital is the most valuable asset of any company, so the cost associated with thoughtful, education-based programming can be directly correlated to how much you believe that person will grow your business. Whether in the field or on the sales team, this type of program generates overall success. 

Consumers are smart. They are shopping around for the best cost and quality designs and looking for a project manager they can trust. With better knowledge and increased confidence, employees can exponentially grow the closing percentage on first meetings as they can gain client trust quicker.

It's easy to run fast and stay on autopilot, but there’s no strategic value in tasks while just relying on muscle memory. Learning provides an opportunity to take a breath and re-focus the teams' energy and what matters the most to homeowners and customers, so when we go into their homes, we have our best foot forward.