Learning Perspective: Well-Trained Employees Are Better Performers and True Team Players

By Aaron Blum

In this post-COVID and inflation-plagued environment, the nature and security of work is less predictable for both employers and employees. One thing that can help encourage more stability is effective training and increased investment into personnel at all levels. This typically will result in better products and better customer service.

In general, employees shown only how to perform repetitive workstation or marketplace tasks often do not understand the context of their work. By contrast, better trained employees are more likely to be personally invested, encouraging commitment, productivity and attention to quality. More substantive training about the use of a product, applicable market segments and the role of an employer also gives employees an important perspective for their day-to-day work. When employees understand what constitutes “performance” and how that translates to on-the-job procedures and awareness, it helps companies succeed. In turn, employees who feel their employers are willing to invest in their education and careers are more likely to stay.

Check the Menu

A number of training resources exist within our industry. FGIA sponsors several continuing education programs and hosts frequent webinars on various topics, ranging from marketing guidance to industry and technical updates, including U.S. and Canadian codes and regulations, standards updates, in-plant quality control, product applications, sustainability, and market analysis. Past programs are also available online for easy access. The comprehensive FenestrationMasters training and credentialing program is a leader among the educational resources in the industry and arguably the de facto Ph.D. in fenestration. The InstallationMasters training and professional certification program is also popular and offers a robust, in-depth course to installers of doors and windows across the country.

Other programs include:
• The Insulating Glass Fabricators Workshop, which is an important and exciting hands-on experience that utilizes industry experts to demonstrate the technology and methods used to fabricate high-quality insulating glass; and
• A Preventing Insulating Glass Failures video series, which offers a “do’s and don’ts” approach for manufacturers of insulating glass units (IGUs) as well as a deep dive into the technology of insulating glass systems and components.

Where to Start

The best foundation for all of these options is the popular Fundamentals of Fenestration program. This is an introductory, online educational program providing basic terminology and standards for fenestration products used in residential, light commercial, commercial and architectural applications. Those who complete the program will be able to discuss the material types used for manufacturing and installation, and to describe the basics of performance, testing and certification. Originally released in 2016, an updated and modernized 2022 version is now available as a more dynamic and engaging online experience. The current version covers a broad scope, representing nearly the full range of commonly used products and is divided into five 20–25-minute segments.

Users have three months of access, so they can complete the course at their own pace and review as needed. A post assessment is required, and a certificate of completion is provided once the minimum score of 80% is achieved.

Fundamentals of Fenestration would be especially helpful as part of a company’s onboarding and training program for inside sales reps, customer service teams, plant workers, or anyone new to the industry that needs a basic understanding of fenestration products and a working knowledge of the industry. It’s also an excellent way to launch 2023 with a revitalized commitment to excellence within a community of freshly dedicated employees.

Aaron Blom is a technical training specialist for the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA).
ablom@fgiaonline.org

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