You hire a team and expect them to perform to the best of their abilities. However, not everyone’s background is the same. Some might have more experience, while others might be inexperienced but hard-working nonetheless.
Sure, you don’t need everyone to be an expert at everything, but there’s value in having a well-trained team:
· You can continue projects even when an employee with critical project knowledge is away.
· Your team can pitch in together competently.
· Projects move faster because team members have better awareness of what’s going on.
· Team members who are trained by a company tend to be loyal to that company.
So, how do you make sure each member of your team possesses the skills to do the jobs you need them to do?
It all comes down to creating a culture that embraces learning and empowers training.
Creating a culture that embraces learning
Contractors can and should set high expectations for their employees. Unfortunately, in setting high expectations, contractors can inadvertently lower the perceived value of learning. In other words, many create a culture where employees face a lot of pressure to already know something and therefore will be embarrassed to admit that they don’t. This leads to a less competent team working more slowly on the job, and can even lead to poor workmanship and on-the-job injuries.
Instead, create a culture that embraces learning. Make it okay to not know something, and make learning rewarding.
· Admit you don’t know everything either and demonstrate your own desire to learn; for example, if you read books about growing your business, then share what you’re learning with your team.
· Praise team members who show others how to do something.
· Set aside time regularly to train your team on something. Create a list of things you want everyone to know, and then identify who on your team already knows that information and ask them to lead a group-training session. Schedule these group-training sessions regularly.
· Encourage on-the-job training.
· Build a library of books and videos that employees can reference to learn something.
· Make sure you create training opportunities by pairing less-experienced team members with more-experienced ones.
· Demonstrate that even newer team members can know something and train the team members who have been around longer.
How to empower training
As you start embracing learning, you might encounter a challenge that some companies face: team members who claim that they don’t know how to train others. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an overly formal process. In fact, on-the-job training that happens throughout the workday is an ideal way for your team to learn relevant skills.
Start by training your team on how to train using this simple training method that they should follow step-by-step whenever they want to train another team member.
1. The trainer explains the topic to the student.
2. The trainer shows the student what they want them to do.
3. The student explains the topic back to the trainer.
4. The student does what they just learned, three times or until they are confident.
5. The student demonstrates again on video.
This training method locks in the learning for the team member and also automatically creates a video library of training material for future team members to use.
Now, start training!
Use this method for every situation, from training your team to using equipment on the job site to reinforcing safety measures. This will help employees to know how to interact with customers and things like how to organize the back of the work truck. Nearly every activity you get your team to do has the potential to be run through this training method to create a higher-performing team.
And don’t forget that this same method not only works for your team that is on the job-site, but also applies if you have office staff too. Your receptionist, your marketing team, your accounting team, and any other team members you may have — even outsourced team members who might be delivering services for your company over the internet — can be trained in this way.
When you create a culture that embraces learning and a culture that empowers training, you create a company that is staffed by team members who want to know more and perform at a higher level.
Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting, training, and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building and selling Gold Medal Service, New Jersey’s largest and most respected home service company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit www.CEOWARRIOR.com.