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How Training Investments Shape Your Company’s Future by David Holt

Originally published in the August edition of the NCI High-Performance HVAC Today Newsletter

Today’s HVAC industry is constantly evolving. It is driven by government regulation, climate activists, technological advancements, misinformation, social media, low-bid competitors, and changing customer expectations. This isn’t your granddaddy’s heating and air business anymore!

To thrive in this crazy environment, you must innovate to gain a competitive edge and drive future success.

While technology and market strategy play vital roles, one investment that significantly shapes your future is often overlooked. That important investment is continuing education for yourself and your


Ongoing educational investments equip employees with the mindset and skillset to embrace change and drive innovation. In this article, you’ll learn how a commitment to continuing education leads to future success through:

  • Improved Company Culture
  • Enhanced Employee Performance
  • Increased Employee Engagement & Retention
  • Top Talent Attraction
  • Next Generation Leadership Development
  • Compliance & Risk Management
  • Significant Competitive Advantage.

Let’s dive in!

Improved Company Culture

Emphasizing continuing education creates a culture of lifelong learning where continuous improvement and growth are encouraged and celebrated. This positive culture fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and a sense of community among employees.

In her blog post, 20 Tips for Creating a Learning Culture in the Workplace, author Emma O’Neill cites an IBM study that focused on the value of employee training. That study showed that “84% of employees within the best-performing organizations are receiving the training they need compared with 16% in the worst-performing companies. And in another recent eLearning report, 94% of employees said investment in training and development is one of the major reasons they would decide to stay in a role longer.”

When learning becomes integral to your company’s DNA, employees become more proactive in seeking knowledge, exploring innovative ideas, and embracing change.

This adaptability is crucial in today’s dynamic business environment, where the ability to learn and evolve is often the differentiating factor between success and stagnation.

Investments in a lifelong learning culture attracts top talent and inspires existing employees to stay with the company and strive for excellence. It promotes what the Harvard Business Review calls a growth mindset and continually encourages employees to seek knowledge and self-improvement.

This growth mindset extends well beyond professional life too. A growth mindset leads to personal growth, better relationships, and improved intellectual curiosity.

Training investments should include programs that promote problem-solving, design thinking, and collaboration. This enables your employees to develop innovative solutions to problems they encounter in the field. Training investments unlock innovation and creativity within your business.

Education is the Fuel for Creative Critical Thinking

Enhancing your employees’ skills encourages creativity while improving critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. When employees have the opportunity to develop their capabilities, they become more confident in exploring new ideas and different approaches.

Educational investments fuel innovation within the business. A well-trained workforce is more likely to identify opportunities for improvement, suggest creative solutions, and adapt to changing circumstances. A culture of innovation positions the company for long-term success and sets it apart from competitors.

Training programs also foster a culture of continuous improvement, where employees actively seek ways to enhance their skills and contribute to the company’s overall success.

This collective drive for improvement and excellence permeates the business, resulting in increased operational efficiency, customer delight, and fantastic business performance.

When your company operates with a culture powered by a growth mindset, innovation, and continuous improvement, you are well on your way to enjoying the high-performance HVAC success of your dreams.

Enhanced Employee Performance

Employees learn about the latest advancements, emerging technologies, industry trends, and best practices through great training programs. Ongoing education ensures employees remain competent and relevant, making them a valuable asset to customers and your business.

Continuing education often involves interacting with peers, experts, and industry professionals in classrooms and industry conferences. This interaction provides opportunities to expand your professional network, collaborate on projects, and exchange ideas. Building a robust professional network can be instrumental in career growth and professional support.

Your well-trained workforce leads to improved job performance, increased productivity, higher quality work, fewer callbacks, more five-star reviews, and unlimited referrals from delighted customers.

Increased Employee Engagement and Retention

Furthermore, training programs provide opportunities for employees to acquire new skills and take on more significant assignments, fostering a sense of engagement and career progression. Continually updating their knowledge and skills increases their chances for growth and advancement.

Being adaptable and versatile in the face of change also increases employability and long-term professional success. If your education stops at learning how to charge an R-22 system, your value to the HVAC industry is greatly diminished!

By offering continuing education, you, as a leader, demonstrate commitment to employee development and growth. When employees feel valued and supported, they become more engaged and motivated, boosting morale and overall job satisfaction.

Employees who see a clear path for growth within a company are more likely to remain loyal and contribute their best efforts to its success. This leads to higher employee retention rates, which reduces expensive recruitment and training costs associated with high staff turnover rates.

Top Talent Attraction

Your training investment also creates a positive perception that can significantly impact recruitment efforts and your ability to attract high-quality candidates. Investing in employee training benefits the individual employee and contributes to your company’s overall reputation and brand image.

A strong brand helps to attract top talent and positions you as an employer of choice in the market. When you prioritize training and development, people see your company as forward-thinking, employee-centric, and invested in the future success of your workforce.

Businesses that provide opportunities for continuing education have an advantage when attracting top talent. The best prospective employees with the right mindset seek companies that value their growth and offer opportunities to expand their skills.

The modern workforce has individuals from diverse backgrounds, generations, and skill sets. Training investments can bridge the gap between different generations, foster collaboration, and promote a culture of inclusi


In today’s tight labor market, you need every recruiting advantage you can muster. A life-long learning commitment creates a competitive advantage in the talent market, ensuring a steady influx of skilled individuals into your business.

Next Generation Leadership Development

Effective leadership drives growth and guides your company’s future direction. Training investments play a pivotal role in nurturing leadership talent within your business.

You can identify and nurture high-potential employees for future leadership roles by providing leadership training opportunities. Leadership development programs equip employees with the skills and knowledge needed to take on management roles in the future.

Several providers of HVAC leadership development programs include:

Plus, many trade associations and local colleges offer management training courses. I mention this because to develop a pipeline of emerging leaders who are prepared to assume critical positions, you need to groom and train them. Doing this ensures a smooth transition when vacancies arise and reduces the risk of leadership gaps.

Suppose your retirement plan is based on the future financial success of your business when you are no longer in the office every day. In that case, you owe it to yourself to invest heavily in the success of your next-generation leadership team.

Compliance & Risk Management

In the HVAC industry, compliance with product specifications, government regulations, and adherence to best practices are critical to your customer’s safety, health, comfort, and energy efficiency.

When installing high-performance equipment on a low-performing air duct system, are you delivering what your customer deserves? Failure to comply with product specifications and installation standards creates bad reviews and terrible profits.

Providing continuing education helps employees stay up to date on these critically essential requirements. Failure to comply can lead to severe consequences, including the death of employees or customers.

Managing risk is a crucial business responsibility. Continuing education reduces the risk of non-compliance, mitigates legal issues, and reduces potentially devastating reputational damage and financial loss.

Significant Competitive Advantage

Staying ahead of the competition is crucial in today’s fast-paced and rapidly evolving business landscape. A skilled and knowledgeable workforce gives the business a competitive edge regarding efficiency, innovation, and customer delight.

Well-trained employees deliver better customer experiences. Companies enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by investing in training programs focused on customer service, communication skills, and product knowledge.

Employees with the necessary skills to understand and address customer needs can build solid relationships and drive customer retention.

Delighted customers become brand advocates, contributing to the company’s growth and success.

Strategic Imperative

By empowering your employees, keeping up with industry changes, enhancing retention, nurturing leadership, fostering innovation, improving customer satisfaction, and adapting to changing workforce dynamics, you position your company for growth and resilience in a rapidly evolving HVAC business landscape.

Training investments are a strategic imperative for companies shaping their future success.

Continuing education is an investment in the company’s most valuable asset: its people. Companies prioritizing training and development will unlock success and create a brighter future. If you agree, invest heavily in your people’s continuing education.

If not, chances are good your high-performance HVAC dreams will turn into a low-performance HVAC nightmare.

About the Author

David Holt

David Holt

David joined NCI in 2011. He tells the story that he was invited to come on board by Dominick Guarino via a Facebook message. Initially his job was to focus on training contractors how to implement the performance-based processes into their business. Today he is still very active in doing that, but is also responsible for content development for a number of the classes NCI develops and teaches as well as the content for the company’s in-person training events. He has a storied HVAC career including starting his own software company, H2 Solutions, which he ultimately sold, starting a coaching and training business called Ultimate Service Systems, and eventually joined his brother’s company, Profit Strategies. When that firm relocated to New York, David decided not to move with them and eventually found his way into the NCI family.


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Informing & Supporting
Conditioning Air Professionals
& the Industry