~ Sean McGraw, CEO & Founder of FOR Energy
“As a business focused on growth, Trainual allows us to grow quickly while still maintaining our standards and our quality. It’s amazing!”
FOR Energy is a full-service energy company specializing in efficiency and renewable solar power. And they help customers in the Phoenix Metro area take control of their electric bills without sweating out the summers.
When Sean McGraw founded the company in 2010, he wore a lot of the company’s hats. “I was doing the books, sales, marketing, and even product installation sometimes.”
He’s since grown the business into 35 full-time employees and 30 contract workers. So he no longer has to manage everything on his own. But the transition wasn’t as easy as handing over a hat. Sean’s daily grind evolved from running the business to training his team to run it for him.
No training resources for new hires
But without a centralized training resource, the onboarding process was chaotic for many years. “We basically threw people to the wolves. And we expected them to plug into the business and just figure it out,” Sean shared.
Sometimes, he’d onboard new hires in person. But other times, he’d just provide a written document. Sean says the approach was inconsistent, and more importantly, the content wasn’t standardized.
Sean realized he had 2 options at this point. One, he could keep doing what he’s doing – which was time-consuming and had proven unsuccessful. Or two, he could solve the problem by setting up a training resource that everyone could reference.
He decided to go with the latter.
He imagined a system that could help employees systematically learn more. That way, they could be more successful at what they do and would hopefully remain with the company longer.
Exploring the training solutions landscape
When Sean started researching what solutions were available, he came across Trainual several times. But it wasn’t until he met our founder Chris Ronzio – thanks to a shared network in Arizona – that he started to really learn more.
Sean says he immediately recognized the value in Trainual. With it, his company would finally provide a shared training resource online. And he could improve his onboarding process, and ultimately, spend less time retraining and recruiting.
“Trainual helps you focus on developing people and growing the business because you’ve already trained your employees in a way that retains.”
Dedicating a new role to Trainual
Shortly after signing up for Trainual, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And Sean took a hard look at how it was going to affect his business. He went to his employees with a promise: there would be no layoffs. But they would need to work hard as a team to survive whatever came and continue growing the company.
And since all the upcoming home shows and industry events were canceled – and no new ones being scheduled – FOR Energy no longer needed a Show and Events Manager. But they did need someone to focus on building out their organization’s Trainual. So Sean reassigned the role as their new in-house Trainual Champion.
Done but always growing
Sean says it took the Trainual Champion about 2 months to finish building the foundational content. And his team started leveraging the content almost immediately. But he stresses that the work is never really done.
Because Trainual is so easy to update, Sean plans to adjust content as they evolve. And he’s currently going back through everything they have documented to embed videos.
When this happens, Trainual automatically notifies everyone, letting them know that the content has been updated. And their prompted in real-time to jump back into the app to review it. That way, everyone is always on the same page.
“The beautiful thing about Trainual is we can edit what we have – without building from scratch. It’s a fluid document, which we need because we’re always growing.”
Before, there was no foundation to build off. But now, FOR Energy has a solid resource they can continue to improve as the business improves.
Using Trainual for new and old employees
According to Sean, his company uses Trainual in two ways. The first way is when a new team member comes on board. All Sean has to do is assign them the onboarding modules they need for their role. And Trainual gets them up to speed faster than ever.
The second is to correct bad habits and align employees on newer, better ways to do things.
“Someone can be awesome at their job, but they’ve let a negative habit creep in over the weeks, months or years they’ve been with us. With Trainual, we can reassign a topic and retrain those employees.”
Now, the FOR Energy team has a centralized hub with all their training resources on standby. So when someone is doing something the old way or “their own way,” Sean can realign the team member in just a few clicks. A win that was never possible before Trainual.
Seeing the results with Trainual
Trainual is the training resource FOR Energy needed. And Sean couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s helped his employees learn their jobs faster and more effectively.
However, the biggest win for Sean is with one particular role called Energy Auditor. He says training for the position was always time-consuming because it required a lot of hands-on guidance.
But with Trainual, they can clearly lay out the content and include pictures to eliminate a lot of the hand-holding. And Sean says it’s reduced onboarding time by more than half.
“What used to take about a month and a half to train on now only takes 2 to 3 weeks.”
More importantly, no matter what position people are in, the results are consistent across the board. Meaning, everyone is on the same page and knows the right way to run the business – no matter how long they’ve been with the company.
Sean said that “Trainual has allowed [his team] to get people ramped up a heck of a lot quicker and retain better than ever before.” And as a result, he’s been able to step out of the day-to-day and focus on growing the business.