Your Way to More Business This Summer

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According to statistics from the Society for Human Resources Management, the annual turnover rate is 15 percent across all industries. Another report indicates one in three people leave a company in the first year, mostly due to failing to prioritize employee growth and career training. The good news is the right training program can improve employee performance and positively impact your bottom line.

Training is about building employee skills, skills that translate into activities supporting the growth and development of your business. As a business owner, you create the atmosphere of competency and comfort, so that varying levels of work done by employees are carried out in such a way that promote an indelible, positive customer experience. By doing so, long-term relationships with customers are nurtured, thereby stimulating business growth.

As with any portion of your business where you employ key performance indicators to express some level of achievement toward a goal, the same should exist with your training program. Having a baseline for each training item, with measurable levels of competency and a continuous improvement plan, are key elements to get you moving in the right direction. Not only must you construct and manage this, but it should also exist for each employee — and they should be re-certified on a regular basis to ensure skill level continuity across the organization.

When it comes to training human resources, several questions must be confronted:

• What are the main skill classifications required to operate your business? • What are the tasks and subtasks associated with these classifications? • What are the types of personalities required to ensure success in getting them done? • How will this training initiative improve your profitability? • Where can I get help?

Your franchisor may have more points to add, but at the highest level, human interaction and operations training are likely two of several at the very top of the list. Here is some homework you should consider:

• Identifying the main skill classifications and tasks associated with each is the foundation for being able to tie personality type to a task requirement. Start by reviewing your current job description and elaborating on it as much as possible. Organize job activities in bullet points under their appropriate skill classification. Once completed, write up your activities document in an organized manner with one page per classification.

• The next step is to understand what type of person will thrive under the constraints of each task classification type. I suggest reading through each page a few times, envisioning the kind of employee who would be the perfect fit for that classification and writing down your thoughts with as much detail as possible.

In the simplest form, the activity, “uses tools on a daily basis,” matches nicely with a person indicating a work interest in “likes to work with their hands.” Similarly, the service greeter tasks of “reviewing service requirements with customers,” closely aligns with traits like, “enjoys talking with people.”

Cross-pollinating the varying work activities, which may not line up directly with the personality types needed, remains an ongoing challenge. Understanding this and hunting down resources to help in training can assist with getting the two closer together.

Calling on resources available to you is an important element of your overall training program. Resources exist both within and outside of your organization. Spending time reviewing what you currently have in place, no doubt, is a sound idea. Investigating outside resources is equally valuable.

You are in an operating business, so resurrecting your operations manual is a logical start. Franchisors have templates you may have bought into, thus laying the foundation for your business. This would mean much of the documentation currently exists in some form but perhaps needs some tweaking.

While this is a fantastic starting point, I’m a believer that everything can be improved upon. Breaking down the many facets of running your business into smaller, more manageable topics provides additional detail and may shed light on something previously overlooked.

Resources outside of your business are popular with owners seeking improvements they can adopt and are currently not underway within their organization. Many options exist to access information, such as trade publications, regional and national tradeshows, independent consultants and supply chain partners, to name a few. These days, you are a computer click away from many forms of information like white papers, stories, images, videos and the like.

Start first by inquiring with your franchisor and supply chain partner. Providing resources in an effort to educate your team is a win for them. Supply chain partners work closely with manufacturers of the products you provide to your consumers, the training of which is their commitment to ensure success of their products.

Ask yourself, are you doing all you can to leverage all of the available information? Are you integrating it into your training program to boost employee knowledge? I suspect it depends on the information you seek as it relates to your business goals. Whatever it is, rev it up and seek it out.

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