This is a bit of bugbear for me. I often see inadequately trained staff being blamed for poor performance simply because their boss is too cheap to pay for training. If you expect someone to do a job properly, you need to give them the necessary skills and resources.

I believe that many businesses look at new staff as an inconvenience, rather than as a promising opportunity to boost the business. They don't invest in teaching them the skills they need to do the job properly and blame the staff member rather than their lack of training.

If you are going to pay your staff every week, surely you want them to do the best job possible for you? After all, the better the job they do, the happier your customers will be and the more profit your business will make.

Training takes many shapes and forms. It's essential to train your new staff in how your business operates. They need to be made aware of your expectations and those of your customers. Every business is slightly different, even two virtually identical hamburger restaurants will have different operational procedures that staff need to be taught. Take the time to orientate new staff and train them fully so that they know how to do their job for you.

Another type of training covers general skills. This may include telephone manner, customer service, selling skills, and even things like time management. These general skills are used by most businesses, but for many people they don't come instinctively. Enrol your staff in a training course, or contract a trainer to come to your workplace to conduct in-house training. The cost will be covered by improved efficiency and a higher degree of customer satisfaction.

The third type of training covers specific skills that are relevant to your type of business or industry. People often choose to work for a particular company because it will give them the opportunity to learn new skills. Give your staff the skills to keep them at the forefront of your industry and you, and they, will reap the benefits.

Just as it is important for your staff to be well trained, don't forget to put your hand up from time to time to undergo training yourself. I haven't met any business owner who couldn't benefit from some form of training. We all need to expand our skills and expertise. Often, when we find ourselves running a business, we know how to do our job very well, but we may not know how to do bookkeeping work, how to manage our time or how to be a better negotiator.

Another common problem that I see with training is that organizations go through stages. They may have five training courses in one month and then nothing for the rest of the year. Try to plan your training so that it's conducted at frequent intervals throughout the year. I like to do training during non-productive times, when business tends to be quiet. Rather than having people sitting around doing crosswords have them learning new skills or improving existing skills.

There are many organizations that offer training. Some training is very expensive, while some is not. I recommend consulting your local business groups to find out what kind of training is available in your area. You may even be entitled to financial assistance for certain types of training. Spend a little time researching your training options before implementing a course of action.

Another smart business move that I have observed is to ask your staff what areas they feel they need training in. This can, of course open a can of worms but you might be surprised by the types of things they want to learn. And sometimes we need to be open to more lateral thinking when it comes to the type of training your team may want. It might not seem relevant at first, but maybe the skills they will develop or the knowledge they get will be more relevant than you think. Or maybe the team dynamics and culture will develop as a by product.

So in conclusion, training is an area that many businesses struggle with. It takes many shapes and forms and whilst it is essential, it's not always given the respect it warrants within a business.

Published on: May 31, 2018