High Summer. Busy busy busy. We are all stuck in the middle of too many projects, too many fires to put out, too many employees running around without direction.
The answer to making that all go away is simple. Training. I know, I can hear you from here, who has time to train, I have TOO MUCH TO DO! But really, you have nothing short of a family emergency that is more important than training. Training is how the information about your business gets transmitted from one person to the next. Make sure it is done the way you want.
At Summit we consider a few categories to be necessary:
- New Hire Orientation and process Training
- Skills Training
- Leadership Training
- Continuous Improvement
New Hire Orientation and Process Training
How are you onboarding new employees? What do the first two weeks look like for them? Consider a day by day plan and an assessment tool for your employees. Taking the time out of your week to effectively and correctly bring someone into your business has long-reaching benefits. A person who is given both the necessary tools to do their jobs as well as a clear idea of how to behave when in the field is far more likely to put their best effort in for you while working and will be less likely to seek other employment. Being passionate about your Vision creates passion in others. Don’t let an opportunity to create that energy passes you by!
At Summit, we recommend using a Skills Pyramid so at each level an employee understands the pathway to the next level. Looking at your team with a critical eye and making sure that they are getting the chance to learn something new prevents the inevitable Raise questions during review time. Did this employee increase their skill level? Did you create that opportunity? Remember the better-rounded your team, the higher your sales price!
What is your system for training leaders? Your business is growing, who among your current employees is going to help you get to the next level? Promoting from within is a Win-Win. You get good culture, they get more money and the rest of the team sees that anything is possible. This will not happen if you are not looking for ways to get those folks who are interested and capable of engaging in more than just fieldwork. Consider a long-range plan with accountability. Assign specific books, set aside time to define parts of your job costing forms, run through a review form, role play. Take time to delve into what makes your business run.
Once your training system is in place, check periodically to make sure it remains effective. Additionally, look at the team and their skill set. Looking to ensure that you, your leadership and your team have a chance to make themselves better employees will only drive more profit to the bottom line. Reading books, taking skills classes, engaging in networking events all drive our desire to be better and do better work. Foster that environment in your employees at ALL levels.
Throughout all aspects of training, do not neglect to follow-up. Check that the information is sticking; verify knowledge and examine new skills. This provides the opportunity for your employees to ask questions and perhaps learn a little more!
So today, not tomorrow, start with something small: suggest a leader read a new book, invite an apprentice to familiarize themselves with a piece of equipment, point to the skills ladder and ask where do you want to go?
Have a great summer!