Johnny Blue Levels Up Employees with Onsite Certification
PSAI’s Professional Certification program and the training that accompanies it is one of the most valued services PSAI offers the industry. Typically, individuals receive training and certification by attending one of our live events or enrolling in our periodic virtual courses. But there’s another option: companies may have a PSAI Trainer visit their site to host an in-person, full-day course for the whole team.
This is exactly what PSAI member Kristen Bush decided to do for her crew at Johnny Blue, Inc., in Winchester, Virginia. When she reached out to PSAI with a training need, we were enthusiastic to send one of our Master Trainers, Ross Ambrose, to her site. Kristen shares how she turned a training course into much more for her crew:
“I introduced the option for additional training from PSAI during a meeting with my crew, back in winter. The title of the meeting was 'What is your Why?' I asked my crew to think about what motivates them to succeed and 'get out of bed in the morning.’ Money, family, company, and consequence are great short-term motivators, but what gives them the endurance to stick around and really do a great job?
“Most of my techs earn tips from long-term customers. We have retained clients for over 30 years, so what motivates them to build and maintain those relationships? They all have their days, but we are certainly blessed with an amazing family of employees. I was looking for a way to 'bundle that up' to share it with my new hires and customers.
“Originally, I was going to fly some of them to [the Nuts & Bolts Education Conference in] Texas in November, but this would make it difficult to keep operations going at home without the crew here. Then, we considered taking the online courses individually, but the times were not convenient. After that, I explored the option of hiring an instructor who could come to us for the day. It was important to me that we all take the course together. The signup to take the class was voluntary. The participants took the 8-hour class on a Saturday and then completed the exam right after. Each employee received a $750 educational bonus for completing the course and exam. We also catered breakfast and lunch that day. Ross was amazing. The team commented several times about his 'real life' experiences and applications.
“In this industry, the operators do not get the recognition they deserve from the public (and sometimes their own employer). As a third-generation operator, I've had the opportunity to witness every aspect of this job: the struggles, the sacrifice, the perks... There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that does not even necessarily pertain to actually cleaning toilets. So many skill sets are required to be an excellent PRO such as mechanical skills, communication and people skills, technology, troubleshooting, safety, planning, logistics, etc. It is more than just 'pumping toilets.'
“Our crew obviously knows this but earning a certificate through the PSAI program identifies that there is a difference between a pumper and a PRO. Eligible members of the team have now earned an educational bonus, certification, pay raise, and patch for their uniform, to signify their commitment and skills. This demonstrates to the public and other entry-level service techs there is a level of expertise to be achieved. It gives them something to work towards, something to be proud of, a title other than 'service tech.' This motivates them to share their skills with new team members. I wanted them to know that what they do for a living really does make a difference to the health and success of the community, jobsites, and special events.”
If you’re interested in a personalized on-site training for your crew, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you plan every step of the way, partnering you with a professional trainer. The PSAI Basic Service Technician Training Series will also be offered in-person at the 45th annual PSAI Nuts & Bolts Educational Conference, November 1–4 in San Antonio, TX. Learn more by visiting www.psai.org/events.