Inspiration, Operation, Finance. You could say the foundation of all three is the same: a well-trained team. Without proper employee training, your brand vision won’t reach the customer. Nor will your financials be managed correctly. But most importantly, your business won’t operate the way it should.
At U.S. Lawns, we put considerable time and money into training programs. From safety tailgates to online training modules—to personal instruction from an RFA—there’s no shortage of resources. Director of Brand Development Brandon Moxam says that’s because training can make or break the success of a franchise.
“Well-trained employees feel more confident, experience higher job satisfaction, and demonstrate a better level of customer service,” he says. “Everything we’re working for, the Service Revolution included, starts with training.”
We asked Dave Reist, our Training Manager, to share some of his secrets for success. Here are his Top Ten “dos and don’ts” for training your employees.
- DO give homework. Every participant should have some kind of “take-away” as study material. Hold people accountable for practicing what they’ve learned.
- DO use rewards, contests and incentives. Positive reinforcement helps foster learning and mastery of skills. Plus, a little competitive camaraderie can keep your team members engaged.
- DO be consistent. Schedule your training on a regular basis, so your employees understand its part of their job. That way, you can also refer back to previous trainings and make sure nothing was missed (see #4 ).
- DO follow up regularly. Did your employees forget everything you told them last quarter? Revisit old topics and continue to teach them.
- DO train at all levels. Education is not just for your crews, but for everyone working on your team.
- DON’T give directives without explaining why. People need to grasp the context for what they’re being asked to do. They’ll retain information better, plus feel personally invested in the task at hand.
- DON’T just lecture. Use demonstrations, and ask your employees to demonstrate as they learn. Hands-on instruction is by far the most effective.
- DON’T teach unfamiliar topics. Plan ahead so that all tasks have been discussed before any formal training begins. It’s much easier to grasp something you’ve seen or heard about before.
- DON’T limit your training to the classroom. A group setting (like two or three crews performing a “spring cleanup” on a property) can enhance the learning process and demonstrate the final objective.
- DON’T forget to use training resources. U.S. Lawns provides a wealth of educational programs for your team, including online modules and private instruction by Dave or the RFAs.
For more information or help with a training initiative, talk to an RFA or any with the Home Office. They can point you in the right direction or set up a session to make sure your people get the best instruction in the industry. Take advantage of the Power of the Network!