Chapter 3: Training Once, Training Twice...

Now that your new employees are hired and ready to work. It’s paramount that they are trained consistently and up to your high standards. They are the face of your company out in the field when you are not around. In order for your company to maintain a reputation of high quality services, they need to be trained to do things right.

 

  • Document how to do the work step-by-step.
  • Train each employee the exact same way.

 

“When you go out and actually do the work yourself, it can be helpful to document how you're doing it, step by step.  You can also find a resource that can systemize and be able to create the training for you,” says Michael Hinderliter, a leader in the Texas Power Washing industry and employer.

 

Write it down, take pictures, make videos, maybe do a screen grab. Whatever works best for you and your specific job/industry is the best way. Make sure you document every part of the process. A new employee won’t intuitively know where to find things or where things go, so make the process as simple as possible to follow.

 

Ask yourself these questions when making training resources:

  • What are the exact steps, as detailed as possible, to do this job?
  • Where do I get the resources needed?
  • How do I utilize the tools needed?
  • What constitutes an emergency? Who do I report to if there is a problem or concern on this specific project?
  • What did I wish I knew the first time I did this?

 

This is when details matter, no matter how mundane or obvious they may seem to you. Now is also the time to note any shortcuts that are tempting and spell out in your training documents why they are a ‘no’ for your company. (Especially when they are concerned with safety procedures or procedures regulated by law.)

 

Hinderliter says, “No matter how you approach it, you need to take the time to train each employee in the same method, so that as the next guy comes in, they're all learning the same way of doing it.”

 

If you don’t standardize your training procedures you risk your company standards slipping. If every employee just trains the next one, then shortcuts get taken and some employees may never actually learn the “right way”.  This leads to discipline, work integrity issues, and major headaches for you later on.

 

“It's always good to have someone train with a supervisor so that as they're going through the process, that supervisor can watch them and tweak what they're doing, so they get that corrective action as they're performing the service,” explains Hinderliter.

 

He continues, “If they get off track, the supervisor brings them back on track, and if they've got questions, they can answer those questions, and monitor the way they perform.”

 

Remember that your training processes and documents are not set in stone. They are a living document and should be updated consistently as industry standards, technology, or work place practices change. Whenever you update your policies ALL employees should be re-trained.

 

Stay flexible and be open to suggestion. We know you worked really hard to make a comprehensive training program but be open to ideas on better ways to do things from employees and outside resources.

 

Remember, these keys to successfully training a new employee whether it’s your first or hundredth.

 

  1. Document EVERY step of the process.
  2. Train every employee the same way and be sure they are using your training processes each time.
  3. Re-train ALL employees any time a process or policy changes.
  4. Training documents will need to change as innovation and law changes in your industry.

 

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