I'm convinced that one of the most important ways to keep good employees is to instill a sense of professionalism and pride in what they do. And what better way to do that than to provide top notch training opportunities?
I know some pest control companies who discourage employees from pursuing continuing education. They fear that if their employees learn too much, they will move on to find a better job or start their own company. Of course this is also the best way to ensure that your employees don't get better at what they do.
In my experience, the best companies embrace training and professional improvement for their employees. I know one company who links commissions their employees earn on sales to their licensing achievments and courses completed. The higher licenses and certifications employees achieve, the more they make. This encourages the good employees to stay and generates a higher level of service at all levels.
Fortunately, there are more continuing education opportunities available to the pest control industry than ever before. One of the highest achievments available to PMPs is the certification program offered by the Entomological Society of America. Seven years of experience is required to sit for the Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) exam. The test is rigorous, and anyone who qualifies and passes should be justly proud of the achievement. A higher level of entomology certification (BCE) is also available, and is principally sought by degreed entomologists. Decals, patches and the right to use the ACE emblems in company advertizing are available to certified PMPs.
Other courses that are worth adding to an employee training program include the Texas A&M University-sponsored, Philip J. Hamman termite training school. Purdue University offers one of the longest-standing pest control correspondence courses. The University of Florida recently opened Pest Management University, which offers classes designed for anyone in the pest management business, including office staff (Basics classes), technicians (Foundations and Master’s level classes), and certified operators (Foundations, Master’s and Expert level classes).
Companies who service school districts in Texas might want to consider the quarterly training offered by the Southwest Technical Resource Center for School IPM. This training provides an excellent opportunity for your company to become more familiar with the unique laws and regulations affecting how pest control must operate in Texas public schools.
So what kind of pest control company is yours? Is it one that strives to provide customers with the best service by continually training its employees? Or is it one that fears making it's employees too good to want to stay?