Owners and managers: Make the ultimate investment in your employees by making the decision to do ride-alongs with your technicians. Committing to ride-alongs is committing to a training implementation tool that has an 88 percent performance impact! Giving your time is one of the best ways to improve performance and build better relationships with your customers.

Be clear about the roles in the ride-along: the performer and the observer. Setting the expectations of roles is critical to the success of the ride-along, especially for you as the observer. The performer’s role is simply to demonstrate mastery of a skill. As the observer, you will be trying to achieve three things for the performer while they do this:

  • Discover how well skills are currently being applied
  • Promote critical thinking and self-evaluation
  • Further develop the skills and behaviors taught in previous training

After the roles have been established, take a moment to reflect on your role before going in the field with your technician. Check any preconceived notions you have about this person and his or her potential, and prepare yourself to be fully present during every moment of the ride-along.

Don’t leave your technician in the dark—explain how the ride-along process will go: how long you will be with along with him or her, your objective for the ride-along, which of you will introduce you to the customer, etc.

Finally, make sure that post ride-along, you are coaching to a process. A process provides a common ground on which both you and the technician can agree, and will ultimately reveal how well the tech is performing. With coaching rooted in a process, the discussion can be based on facts rather than your subjective opinion.

Read more about successfully implementing a ride-along.