An Owner’s Guide to Employee Training
What percentage of your business team is excelling? What percentage of your staff is currently in an improvement work plan as a result of poor work performance? If given a survey, how would your employees rate their knowledge on his or her assigned job duties and your company’s core values? These are all questions and concerns that employee training addresses. Employee training is an ongoing function and an effective way to help both your facility and staff stay on top. As the new year approaches, consider these key training-related suggestions.
Timing is Everything
New employees arrive with their minds set to learn the ropes. You can capitalize on this enthusiasm by giving them the knowledge they need to succeed from day one. Create a workplace survival kit, which includes the New Hire Packet and the Employee Manual, to help them navigate through this potentially stressful period. Training should begin during the orientation phase with these two valuable tools.
The New Hire Packet should contain individualized information specific to the new worker’s hired position, including a benefits package, tax withholding forms and other human resource materials. It’s also a good idea to include the person’s work schedule and how he or she can expect to get paid.
The Employee Manual ensures that new hires receive clarity on their job responsibilities and work performance expectations. The manual must be clear in its purpose, thus establishing your business as a company with a history of high morale. By communicating this at the beginning of the business relationship, employees will be able to apply specific, ethical rules of conduct to their work behavior.
Practice Makes Perfect
For most new employees, the fun begins with the hands-on portion. He or she has already gotten their name tag, made a complete tour of the building and completed a detailed session on the company’s culture. Now it’s time to train for what they are expected to do. Customer-consciousness is so integral at a fitness facility — a significant amount of training needs to be devoted to ensure employees grasp its importance. This can be accomplished in multiple ways. Share stories of real customer care situations from which new hires can learn. To help in these knowledge-building exercises, incorporate the tenured staff members. The participation of the entire team will help build relationships with the new players, while simultaneously giving the rookies an accurate dose of what they might encounter once they are in their position.
Get Everyone Involved
The poor performance of a veteran employee can have a counterproductive effect on a new hire’s introductory period. Many employees start a job with high expectations, only to have them lowered by a subpar co-worker. Your current staff should be working examples of how business is carried out on a day-to-day basis. A good way to encourage a high work ethic in your facility is to mandate periodic training courses. Today’s thriving businesses offer training resources online, as well as occasional lunch-and-learns.
Manage Your Managers
The Business Dictionary defines management as the organization of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives. What better way to equip your managers to meet this goal than training? Managers do a lot more than supervise. They make important decisions on behalf of the company every day. Your managers serve as additional spokespersons for your brand, and what they say and do is a direct reflection of the business. Put your core leadership team through additional training courses to enhance their professional skills. These courses can even address new practices and stress management. After being in the industry for many years, making decisions quickly and under pressure can somewhat become second nature. Nevertheless, the process of decision-making with a cool temperament needs to be sharpened.
A commitment to continually training your employees is a significant step towards success. Epictetus once said, “Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort.” The journey may not always be easy, but the destination should be one of great reward.
Terrell McTyer is the Marketing Monster of Affiliated Acceptance Corporation. He can be contacted at 573-374-9970, or by e-mail at Terrell.McTyer@Affiliated.org.