Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 94 To our clients and friends September 26, 2006
Air Tight Test
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Take the pressure off with training

Mike, an HVAC foreman for a large general contractor in eastern Washington, told Session 6B of the Leadership Development LAB:

"After the installation of our mechanical duct work on most jobs, we have to satisfy the commissioning agent and customer by passing a positive air pressure test. This air pressure test ensures that all of our connections are airtight and not going to leak once the system is under normal operating conditions. After our HVAC ductwork was installed at the job I am working on now at Hanford High School, I had my first year apprentice start sealing up all the connections. This was an opportunity to get him involved in the closeout procedures of pressure testing the work he had helped install. When he completed the sealing process, we let it dry overnight and the next morning we pressurized the system with a portable fan to try to get 3” w.c. of pressure. The system failed miserably. When I questioned him to see if he had sealed the whole circumference of all seams, he told me that he couldn’t reach the top of all the seams. Of course I knew he could, even though it takes some skill and extra effort. I immediately thought of Turbo Leadership Systems’™ Leadership Principle #14, Begin with Yes, Yes, Yes. I also thought this would be a prime time to follow Turbo’s 3-step process for on-the-job training, which I probably should have done up front, even though I thought I had made it perfectly clear when I made the


Now I needed to demonstrate that it could be done and teach him how in the process. Some areas are harder to get to and seal than others. I took three hours out of my day and went through every connection with him, physically showing and telling him how to do it on several, then I let him do it as I told him, and finally I let him tell me how to do it as he did it. We let it dry overnight and came back the following morning. We fired off our test fan to be sure we would pass the test before we called the commissioning agent to witness the test procedure. This time we passed with flying colors.

The lesson I learned from this experience is to physically demonstrate how to do new tasks, not just verbally tell how. The importance of using all three steps of the Turbo on-the-job training process and the few minutes it takes to demonstrate, to show, will save me many hours in the long run.

The action I call you to take is to use Turbo’s 3-step on-the-job training process before delegating a task to a new employee so they will have a clear understanding of what is expected and how to do it. Help your team understand why their tasks are so meaningful to the final completion of their project. The benefit you will gain is you will have a lot less wasted time and rework while increasing production and profit."


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