It is a rare event that you hire an employee that knows what you expect them to know and does what you expect them to do the first day they begin work. No major corporation hires people and expects them to be ready to begin work the first day on the job.
Although their competitors have similar processes, procedures and products have differences; different computer programs and screens, different invoices, product procurement, warehouse and distribution systems. Whether it is Amazon, Wal-Mart, or Home Depot these corporations realized years ago that in order to get consistent performance from its employees it needed consistent training that would produce consistent results.
What Goes into the Training?
What these corporations have developed are training systems built specifically on the tasks the new employee is hired to do. The training occurs as close to where the work is to be done as possible. Although they depend on supervisors, and other employees to carry out the training, they do not leave it up to the new employee to decide what is to be trained or how the training will occur.
These training programs include:
- Processes and procedures,
- Forms (work orders, invoices, shipping manifest)
- Computer screens, management reports, purchase orders
- Product descriptions
- Product location and flow
- Human resource policies, etc.
- Outcome measures of success
Training insures that the employee learns how this company wants their business conducted and what their role is within the company. They know what successful performance is.
They know and so do you that if we leave the training up to individual employees, without any tools, we get inconsistent results. But, if you provide the trainer (existing employee) material and guidelines, and you require the new employee to document their learning you get consistent training and the results your company needs.
These training programs take between 40 to 80 hours depending on the job to be performed. In most of our businesses we provide much less than 8 hours of training and it is not well defined or well done. Why? Here are some of
1. It costs too much and it takes too much time.
- How much more time does it take to answer the same questions over and over and to fix the same mistakes that cost you and your customer money and time.
2. We haven’t defined what you want the employee to do.
- Yes, it takes time to standardize and write down process and procedures. But, once it is done you only have to update it as conditions change. Plus, this removes any doubt of what is expected.
3. We don’t know how to develop training material.
- Just observe what is done or what should be done. Write that down in a step by step fashion. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.
4. We don’t know how to measure success.
- If you or someone else in the company — that you trust — can do the job well then measure your or their performance. Then you can break this down by day or by hour. Again, getting it set once allows you to change it as conditions change.
We offer very affordable job procedures and training materials that you can easily adapt to your needs. Check them out at www.countsbusinessconsulting.com.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, email@example.com; 512-963-4626