Employee Training That Works!

Do you yearn for a time when your team will produce more consistent results?

And do you ever get tired of the revenue rollercoaster that comes from inconsistent results?

One way to achieve consistency is by putting systems and processes in place with your team.  I talked about this in my last post Creating a Culture Where Great People Want to Work.

The other important way is what we’re going to talk about today – training people to develop their skills and advance in the ranks so both they and the company are more successful.

But if you’ve never created a training program before, it can be hard to know where to begin.

In a time like we are in now, where there is a limited talent pool out there, the burden is on us as managers and leaders to develop our teams and make them great. Not only that but investing in training your people can actually add dollars to your bottom line because they’re better equipped to do their job efficiently with fewer mistakes.

Today in my interview with Todd Liles of Service Excellence Training and host of The Service Contractor podcast, he explains how to create a training plan so you can feel confident developing your team.

Todd and I will talk about:

  • The 3 keys to a successful training program
  • How to structure training
  • What to cover so that you can teach your team your way to get the job done right.

One reason business owners hesitate to train their teams is that we’ve all been in boring, time-wasting trainings, right? We don’t want to do that to our employees or ourselves.

When training goes wrong, it’s because people go into it without knowing why. They see it as taking time away from work they need to get done.

So it’s got to start with the why. Why should anyone listen? Explain the difference between where you are now and where you want to be – and how this training is going to bridge that gap.

The 3 keys to a successful training program are:

  1. Have a Defined Reason – This is your why, your core values, or guiding principles. Great work culture is built on that. They’ve got to know where you’re going before you can lead people there.
    • Define your core values and communicate them to your team.
  1. Agree on Clearly Defined Expectations – These are key performance indicators or the deliverables in your position agreements. The purpose of training is closing the gap between “here’s where we are now” and “here’s where we want to be.”

People wonder how to build a team that can be held accountable for achieving consistent results. The answer is being super clear about key performance results that each team member is accountable for. You can’t have accountability for whether you’re meeting your core values if you’re not measuring against expectations.

    • Define the specific results that are the measure of success
  1. Get nto a Rhythm – Training needs consistency. Don’t wait to start it until you can have a whole day that takes you hours to prep for. Even if all you have is 15 minutes a week, put it on the schedule. If you’re not intentional about setting aside time, there’s never going to be time. And by doing it consistently, it stays in people’s heads.

Managers often worry about not being experts in training. They say, “I’m not a trainer.” That’s okay. It’s not about perfection. You understand who you’re talking to, and you know what they need to know. That’s all you need. Make it easy on yourself. And keep it simple.

    • Make training a part of your weekly practices – it will transform your business!

Once you decide you want to implement a training program, you probably wonder how to structure it.

Here are the 5 elements to include in any training:

  1. Communicate Your Core Reasons – Reconnect the results they’re accountable for with the reason for the training. This gets back to why they are there.
  2. Use Stories – Stories change people’s minds. They are the secret sauce for getting attention, so everyone is listening.
  3. Give Them a Demo – As the leader, show folks how you expect them to do it with an example. More on that below, so keep reading.
  4. Practice It – Let the team role play in a group. Nobody likes to do this, but it works.
  5. Give a Challenge – Everyone likes a challenge, especially if you make it fun and fast. Here’s an example: “The person who gets the most signed agreements by the end of this week gets their truck washed by me.”

When it comes to #3: Give Them a Demo, use the “3 Tells” and show them how they can too. Here’s an example of the 3 Tells in a training session on service agreement sales…

  1. Tell Them What You’re Going to Tell Them – “I want to explain why this service agreement is such a great deal for you.”
  2. Tell Them – In this section, focus on benefits, not features. “There are about 21 different reasons to sign up in this brochure about service agreements here, but I want to point out the 3 you’re going to be really interested in. One, it makes your home safer. Two, it reduces utility costs. And three, you get exclusive discounts and priority appointments.”
  3. Tell Them What You Told Them – And always conclude by asking for the sale. “So now you know why our service agreement is the best deal for you. Are you ready to sign up for that today?”

Anyone reading this can train their team. The question is when are you going to get started?

To make it easier on you, Todd has provided a free resource for you, a DISC Profile infographic that tells you how to identify the 4 personality types of the DISC assessment, what’s important to each personality type, and how they each set goals. You’ll be able to tell what types your team members are and you’ll find their reason inside of your core reason. That’s how you connect with why training is important.

When we understand that not everyone is like us, and different people bring different values, meanings, and purposes, the next step is communicating on a level that they can hear. This tool will give you a leg up on training that develops your team and boosts your bottom line.